US attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak has announced his resignation effective January 4, 2021.
Pak is leaving the office after serving more than three years as chief federal law enforcement officer for the Northern District of Georgia, which consists of 46 counties in northwest Georgia and has offices in Atlanta, Rome, Gainesville, and Newnan. He was named a U.S. attorney by President Donald Trump in July 2017, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 28, 2017, and sworn in as the district’s 25th presidential-appointed U.S. attorney on October 10, 2017.
“It was the greatest honor of my professional career to serve my fellow citizens as a US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. I have done my best to be thoughtful, consistent, and deliver justice to my fellow citizens in a fair, effective, and efficient manner. I am grateful to President Trump and the United States Senate for the opportunity to serve, and I am grateful to former attorneys general and Barr for leading the department, ”said US attorney Byung J.“ BJay ”Pak.
Pak was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States when she was nine. He lives with his family in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Pak worked in private practice until 2002, when he began serving as a US assistant attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. Feeling called to the civil service following the September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States, he served for six years, prosecuting a wide variety of cases including drug trafficking, money laundering, intellectual property, and economic crimes.
Pak also served as a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.
“As I look back on nearly a decade in the Justice Department (and especially in this office), the most memorable and fulfilling moments are working closely with our law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe. I take with me fond memories and the greatest respect I have for each of the men and women who wear the badge. They really are everyday heroes. I hope my tenure in the Office will be remembered for our efforts to serve and support these brave agents and officers. I have seen firsthand the strength and grace of crime victims and have taken to heart the great responsibility of speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, ”said Pak.
While serving as a US attorney, Pak served on several national committees. He was chairman of the Civil Rights Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. Vice Chairman of the Committee on Management, People and Performance; and as a member of the Working Groups on Domestic Violence and Economic Fraud. Pak was also a member of the Working Group on Law Enforcement and Judicial Technology Administration and the committee that developed the standards for a National Decertification Index – a database used to track the excessive use of force by police officers.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has three divisions: Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Divisions. The accomplishments of each division during Pak’s tenure are varied.
Most importantly, the Office’s accomplishments during Pak’s tenure included a commitment to work together and improve relations with law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local levels to reduce violent crime in certain areas of the district. Through the Justice Department’s priority programs, Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian, the office has worked hand-in-hand with district attorneys, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and community partners to address gun violence. In collaboration with an excellent research partner, our efforts were data-driven and evaluated for their effectiveness. Our efforts have been successful, as shown by the latest statistics, which show that gun violence has decreased significantly across the district. Our innovative prevention and re-entry initiative includes the Credible Messenger program, where the department works with rehabilitated ex-offenders to serve as trained mentors for those violent criminals returning to society from prison. Early data shows the program is very effective in reducing relapse.
In addition, the office has tracked and followed numerous priority cases in the areas of public corruption, drug trafficking, drug dispensing, death, drug distribution and illicit prescribing by medical professionals, cyber crime, fraud, insider trading, sex trafficking and exploitation of minors, environmental crimes and illegal immigration . During Pak’s service as a U.S. attorney, the office increased the number of criminal cases prosecuted by over 30% from FY17, with an emphasis on cases that should be handled at the federal level to help crime victims regardless of the number of offenses to provide the best possible service financial loss or amount of drugs.
The Office’s civil division has wide-ranging responsibilities, from defending federal agencies and staff in civil matters to immigration, discrimination, prisoner litigation, and civil rights. The Affirmative Civil Enforcement was very successful, bringing cases and negotiating the return of millions of taxpayers’ money fraudulently received by individuals and companies. The Defense Department handled a significant number of cases, including a large number of immigration-related lawsuits. The Civil Department continues to focus on major cases of discrimination based on access to polling stations across the district with the aim of ensuring that every eligible citizen, regardless of disability, can cast a vote. The office continued its longstanding practice of protecting the civil rights of all citizens regardless of nationality, gender or disability.
With the dual factors of the current pandemic and the longest government shutdown in United States history, the Office’s administrative division has been extraordinarily productive for the past three years. The department covered a wide variety of COVID-related issues, including remediation of work areas, the purchase of safety equipment, policies and procedures for teleworking, and employee support.
In addition to these departments, the office has done solid public relations with an emphasis on law enforcement and intelligence communities, prison reintroduction initiatives, and the media. Pak also made an effort to reach residents of the Northern District of Georgia directly through numerous television, radio, and public appearances to keep the public informed of the US attorney’s activities.
“Over the past three years, I have been fortunate to work with highly qualified lawyers and staff in the northern district of Georgia,” said Pak. “This office is blessed with seasoned leaders and fearless colleagues who really understand the importance of working together for the good of their fellow citizens and for justice. Likewise, the most dedicated people are the people who support the lawyers in the firm – administrative staff, paralegals, paralegals and investigators, those in charge of liaising with law enforcement agencies, victims, community partners, the media, and security and intelligence officials , that I saw. Their role in fulfilling the Office of Justice’s mission is not to be underestimated. I have struggled to serve as directors of these US attorneys for the past three years, the last of which was one of the most difficult the office has ever seen. I really enjoyed working with each and every one of them. For the past three years I have strived to serve them and tell the story of the office’s great achievements. While the public words are mine, the accomplishments are theirs. “
This is a press release from the US Department of Justice.