Chapa Lopez Resigns as US Attorney in Middle District of Florida
Karin Hoppmann will be the acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida until an Interim U.S. attorney is appointed or President Joe Biden nominates a new attorney who is confirmed by the Senate.
TAMPA – After 21 years with the Department of Justice, and 32 years’ government service, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez has resigned as chief law enforcement officer for the Middle District of Florida.
Her resignation was effective Feb. 27.
“Serving as the U.S. Attorney for the MDFL these past three years has been my highest honor and, serving the U.S. for these last 32 years has been my highest privilege,” said Chapa Lopez. “It has been my honor to serve with a fantastic group of federal, state and local law enforcement partners. Together, we have done great work to protect our communities here in the MDFL. It has also been my greatest honor to work with the tremendously talented group of AUSAs and staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in the MDFL. Thank you all for your partnership and support these last three years. My respect for each and every one of you is immeasurable. Team MDFL is the best!”
Chapa Lopez said, “I want to thank Se. Marco Rubio and former Sen. Bill Nelson for their support and confidence in me to lead this office. I am grateful to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for trusting me with this position when he appointed me interim U.S. attorney, and to Attorney General Bill Barr for his trust in my abilities when he asked me to be on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.”
Karin Hoppmann, who served as Chapa Lopez’s first assistant U.S. attorney will be acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida by virtue of the Vacancies Reform Act. Hoppmann will serve in that position until such time as an Interim U.S. attorney is appointed or until President Joe Biden nominates a replacement who is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Chapa Lopez came to the job with a significant amount of experience that prepared her to lead the MDFL. Previously, she served on active duty as a U.S. Army officer, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. In April 2000, she joined the USAO-MDFL as an assistant U.S. attorney acting as a narcotics prosecutor, working to dismantle transnational drug trafficking organizations. Immediately before that, Chapa Lopez served as DOJ deputy attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, working closely with Mexican Justice and Law Enforcement counterparts, as well as other international stakeholders, to disrupt cross-border crime.
“Maria Chapa Lopez rendered good and faithful service as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida. In her dealings with the court, Ms. Lopez always represented the U.S. with the utmost professionalism. The court wishes her well in her future endeavors” said Timothy J. Corrigan, chief judge, Middle District of Florida.
“It has truly been an honor and a privilege working alongside US Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez over the past three years protecting and defending the Middle District of Florida,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I am saddened to see her leave, but truly grateful for the dedication she has put into causes that affect our Hillsborough County residents. Through our partnership, we have worked to combat issues of both opioid abuse and human trafficking throughout our state, bringing drug dealers responsible for fatal overdoses to justice and putting behind bars those who seek to buy or profit off of the exchange of another individual’s body for sex. I look forward to continuing the work we have started together as she moves on to the next step in, what is sure to be, a continuously rewarding career in service.”
St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway said, “The St. Petersburg Police Department has enjoyed a cooperative and mutually supportive relationship with our valued criminal justice partners at the Department of Justice, led by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. The DOJ is staffed with tremendously talented members and I am proud of our collective achievements and the significant progress that has been made toward improving the lives of individuals in our community through better public safety and police protection and most recently for the support of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force. I look forward to the opportunity to work together someday soon and seeing her many future accomplishments.”
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri also praised Chapa Lopez, saying, “We’ve had a productive and strong working relationship with U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Her reputation is one of being committed to her work and has shown through her accomplishments during her appointment. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her.”
PHOTO SHOWS MARIA CHAPA LOPEZ.
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