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Press Release

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley retiring after 25 years of federal service

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La. Stephanie A. Finley, United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, announced today that she is retiring after 25 years of federal service.


Finley began her public service in the military in 1988 after she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, competing nationally and being designated as a Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. She served for four years on active duty at England Air Force Base, Louisiana and Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, where she also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for both installations. Ms. Finley served as a member of the Judge Advocate Corps for 25 years and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. Ms. Finley is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service, one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Air Force Training Ribbon. She retired in November of 2016.


During her Reserve career, she was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command, the 8th Air Force, and the 2nd Bomb Wing. As a JAG officer, she served as a hearing officer for criminal cases and administrative discharge boards, worked in the areas of contract and labor law and military justice, as well as providing legal assistance services for active duty, reservists and dependents of the military.


Ms. Finley began her career with the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in October of 1995. Prior to her appointment as U.S. Attorney in June of 2010, Ms. Finley served as the District’s Senior Litigation Counsel and was responsible for the District’s training and mentoring programs. She also served as the Deputy Criminal Chief for the Lafayette Office. In her 21-plus years with the Department of Justice, she prosecuted cases involving white collar crimes, violent crimes, civil rights, environmental crimes, drug trafficking, public corruption and tax evasion.


Finley served on Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) from 2011-2013. The Attorney General Advisory Committee was created to serve as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys and to advise the attorney general on policy, management and operational issues impacting the offices of the U.S. Attorneys. In addition, she also served as Co-Chair and Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee’s Office of Management and Budget Committee, and on a number of subcommittees and working groups for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, to include the Civil Rights Subcommittee, Native American Issues Subcommittee, the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Working Group, Environmental Issues Working Group, Racial Disparities Working Group, and the Service Members and Veterans Rights Working Group. Finley also served as a board member of the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Board.


Under Ms. Finley’s leadership, transparency and outreach were District priorities. Her office initiated and conducted numerous outreach efforts designed to strengthen relationships between law enforcement partners, citizens, schools, and community groups. Ms. Finley also focused her attention on developing in-house programs designed to develop leadership among both attorneys and support staff. As the chief law enforcement officer of 42 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, her emphasis was on civil and criminal cases with a strong federal nexus. Between 2010 and 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, through its amped up Financial Litigation Unit, collected more than $101 million in civil and criminal actions.


Known for her commitment to the children of this District, Ms. Finley engaged the district’s clergy, civic, nonprofit, and business communities through community forums, roundtable discussions and a myriad of speaking engagements. She often on her own time and at her own expense visited the District’s youth at schools, community centers, and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Finley was also a frequent speaker at law enforcement events. She prioritized the District’s Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC) efforts to provide countless training sessions for federal, local and state law enforcement agencies designed to enhance their enforcement abilities to keep our communities safe.


Ms. Finley ensured that all five of the division offices were operational and the Lafayette and Shreveport offices were fully staffed, navigating through several financial challenges, including a hiring freeze, government shutdown and budget sequestration.


Ms. Finley is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Grambling State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Southern University Law Center where she received her Juris Doctorate in 1991 and was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review.


Ms. Finley has been recognized for her longstanding dedication and commitment to the community. She previously served as the Criminal Bar Examiner and an Assistant Bar Examiner for the Louisiana Bar, is a frequent youth conference lecturer on the local and state level, and has been honored as a “Top 20 Under 40” recipient, one of Lafayette’s “Women Who Means Business,” a “Person of Excellence” recipient from the National Association of University Women, a Torchbearers’ Award recipient, a Southern University Law Center Hall of Fame inductee, a recipient of Grambling State University’s Beacon Award for Public Service, a Public Service Award recipient at Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Regional Conference, and various other Achievement Awards


“I have been truly blessed to serve my nation in the capacity of the United States Attorney, Assistant United States Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force. I am extremely proud of the District’s accomplishments over the last six and a half years; there are too many to mention. But, as I have said from day one, no one does this alone. Today, I would like to thank all of the unsung men and women of the Western District of Louisiana who are some of the finest public servants in our state and nation. They are the reasons why my service has been so gratifying and successful. I want to also thank the men and women who serve in our partner federal agencies and our tribal, state and local partners. The public will never know the magnitude of our ongoing collaboration to keep the citizens of our communities safe and to represent the United States. I also thank my family and friends who have been supportive throughout my career.


The work of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office will continue. My service to our nation and state will also continue; it will now be in my private capacity. I am excited about what the future holds, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the United States Attorney.”


Updated March 11, 2017

Office and Personnel Updates