Heffelfinger had placed a priority on issues pertaining to American Indians and led a subcommittee of U.S. attorneys examining the prevalence of gangs, guns, terrorism and other violent crimes on reservations. Federal attorneys oversee the prosecution of such crimes.
"If it's true that people within the Department of Justice were critical of the amount of time I was spending on Indian issues, I'm outraged," Heffelfinger said Wednesday afternoon. "Are they telling me that I spent too much time responding to the school shooting in Red Lake, which was the second-largest act of school violence prior to Virginia Tech? Are they telling me I spent too much time trying to improve public safety for Native Americans, who are victims of violent crime at a rate 2½ times the national population? If they are, then shame on them."