UPDATED at 6:10 pm
Federal Election Commission general counsel Anthony Herman today resigned from the agency and will be returning to Covington & Burling as senior counsel, the firm announced.
At the FEC, Herman oversaw more than 100 lawyers and led a major restructuring of the general counsel's office. He joined the FEC in 2011 after spending 22 years at Covington, where he was a commercial litigation partner and chair of Covington's public service committee.
"I enjoyed working at the FEC during an important juncture in the nation's election cycle, but I look forward to returning to Covington, a truly unique and wonderful law firm," Herman said in a written statement. The FEC didn’t immediately name a successor.
“I want to thank Tony for his outstanding service to this agency and to the American public,” said FEC chair Ellen Weintraub in a news release. "Tony consistently demonstrated integrity, sound judgment, legal savvy, and an extraordinary work ethic. His legacy at this agency will continue, through the innovations he put in place, the attorneys he mentored, and the other talented leaders he hired and promoted."
The FEC has often been called a dysfunctional agency. All five current commissioners are serving under expired terms, while a sixth seat is vacant, and bipartisan agreement among the members has often proved elusive.
In an April 29 letter to President Barack Obama, reform groups including Public Citizen, Common Cause and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the FEC “has repeatedly refused to properly enforce or interpret the campaign finance laws.”
Timothy Hester, chair of the Covington’s management committee, said the firm is “delighted” to welcome Herman back.
“Tony made many important contributions to the firm for many years, particularly as a civil litigator versed in a wide array of subject matter areas,” Hester said. “He brings a combination of talent, energy and zest to every legal challenge and now returns after an admirable stint serving the public at the FEC.”
Herman's last day at the agency is expected to be July 5.