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Gonzales leaves attorney general's post

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Alberto Gonzales ended his turbulent tenure as U.S. attorney general Friday, reflecting on his public service in a speech at an airbase in Washington.

"Today is my last day at work as attorney general -- and this is essentially my last public speech in that office," said Gonzales, who announced his resignation Aug. 27 as controversies enveloped his office, including his position on issues such as U.S. interrogation techniques to questions about his involvement the firings of several attorneys generals and whether the dismissals were politically motivated.

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Gonzales said in prepared remarks that the Bolling Air Force base was an appropriate setting for his last public speech because the U.S. Air Force was where "my time in public life" began and because he was participating in the base's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

"My work has not been easy but it has been unbelievably rewarding," said Gonzales, the first Hispanic attorney general. "Because I knew that every day when I got up, I was being given a new opportunity to work for the American people.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement will serve as acting attorney general starting next week.

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