FBI names new head of criminal division

Published: Aug. 18, 2006 at 1:40 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- FBI Director Robert Mueller has appointed a veteran agent who led efforts against public corruption as head of its Criminal Investigative Division.

James H. "Chip" Burrus was named FBI assistant director for the division in a statement this week. The division, based at FBI headquarters in Washington runs all the bureaus criminal investigative programs nationwide, which focus on public corruption, civil rights violations, organized and gang-related crime and corporate fraud. Burrus has been heading the division in an acting capacity since February 2006.

"Chip brings an extensive background in criminal investigations and great leadership qualities to the position," Mueller said.

Burrus joined the FBI in August 1983 and worked in the El Paso and Midland, Texas, where he focused on public corruption and bank fraud investigations. He came to Washington in 1988 to join then Attorney General Edwin Meese's security detail. In 1991, he was assigned to the bureau's Internal Affairs Unit, where he remained until his November 1993 promotion to supervisory special agent in Orlando, Fla.

Burrus was the assistant special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Division between March 1998 and August 2001. In July 2001, he received the FBI director's Award for Special Achievement for his work with Native Americans there.

In August 2004, he returned to FBI Headquarters to be the deputy assistant director of the Criminal Division's National Crimes Branch, overseeing all cases involving public corruption, civil rights, and white collar crime, as well as the FBI's undercover operations.

Burrus, a native of Shelby, N.C., obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest University in May 1983.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.