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Holder names new internal ethics chief

From NBC's Pete Williams

Attorney General Eric Holder has named a new head of the Justice Department's internal ethics unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility. And he has named an acting director of ATF and put a new person in charge of the U.S. attorneys.

Mary Patrice Brown takes over OPR. She has been supervising criminal cases at the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington. Marshall Jarrett, who had been running OPR, takes over the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. And Ken Melson, a veteran career prosecutor in Alexandria, Va., will be acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

While some reports have suggested this has something to do with the Ted Stevens case, senior Justice Department officials dismiss that. Jarrett has known Holder since their days together in the U.S. Attorney's office. Far from reflecting any concern about Jarrett's conduct at OPR, these officials say the move actually reflects Holder's confidence in Jarrett by choosing him to run the part of the Justice Department that was the huge problem under Alberto Gonzales -- the U.S. attorneys.