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CRIMINAL CHIEF RESIGNS TO FOCUS ON FRAUD CASES

U.S. Attorney Scott Matheson's criminal chief Stewart Walz has resigned from his post as criminal chief to focus on white-collar cases, including the Bonneville Pacific investigation.

Matheson has promoted Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Warner to the criminal chief post.Walz will continue as the chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, a multiagency group responsible for investigating the Bonneville Pacific scam.

Walz would not say whether Bonneville Pacific figured in his decision except to say, "Bonneville Pacific is part of my caseload. It would be silly to deny that."

Walz's white-collar caseload is immense, said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Schwendiman, office spokesman. "He just decided he wanted to go back to doing that full time. We're happy to have him do it that way."

But sources say the resignation was Matheson's idea. Walz asked Matheson for help with his caseload. Instead, Matheson suggested Walz give up his chief post.

Asked about that, Walz said, "I have no comment other than what I have said."