By dropping lawsuit and resigning, English closes chapter in drama over consumer bureau’s leadership

The deputy director of the federal consumer financial protection agency will resign her position – perhaps as early as Monday – and has dropped her legal challenge to be the temporary leader of the agency, she said in a statement Friday.

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) Deputy Director Leandra English said she made the decisions – after a more than six-month legal fight – following President Donald Trump’s nomination last month of Kathleen Kraninger to be the agency’s permanent director. If confirmed, Kraninger would succeed Acting Director John “Mick” Mulvaney, who was appointed by Trump in November.

“I will be stepping down from my position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau early next week,” she wrote in the statement released Friday, “having made this decision in light of the recent nomination of a new Director. I want to thank all of the CFPB’s dedicated career civil servants for your important work on behalf of consumers. It has been an honor to work alongside you.”

English was tapped deputy director of the agency Nov. 24 by outgoing Director Richard Cordray; she was formerly the agency’s chief of staff. Cordray appointed her to the job under the auspices of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). Under that law, the deputy director becomes the director of the agency when the incumbent in that position resigns or leaves office.

However, later that same day, the White House announced Trump had selected Mulvaney (also the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)) for the position. The White House pointed to the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA), which gives the president the power to fill vacancies at federal agencies in acting capacities for 210 days.

“Director Mulvaney will serve as Acting Director until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed,” the White House said in a statement at the time.

English challenged the appointment in federal district court, which rebuffed her. In April, a federal appeals court heard her appeal of the lower court’s decision but has not yet ruled.

In the meantime, Trump nominated Kraninger to be permanent director. Mulvaney continues to serve as acting director for at least 210 days following the June 20 formal nomination of Kraninger, an associate director for general government for the OMB, or until Kraninger is confirmed by the Senate.

No hearings on the nomination have yet been scheduled by the Senate.

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