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Published November 23, 2010, 03:34 PM

FDA criminal investigations chief resigns

WASHINGTON — The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s criminal investigation unit is stepping down, months after the latest round of criticism directed at his department by congressional investigators.

WASHINGTON — The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s criminal investigation unit is stepping down, months after the latest round of criticism directed at his department by congressional investigators.

An agency spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that Terry Vermillion announced to FDA staff he would step down.

Vermillion, who spent 20 years in the Secret Service before joining FDA in 1992, is among the highest paid officials at the agency at more than $200,000 per year. His department has been the subject of several investigations requested by federal lawmakers.

Earlier this year the Government Accountability Office said the FDA must exercise more oversight over Vermillion’s unit, which has operated largely independent of agency leadership, despite growing into a $41 million operation over the last 10 years.

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