Connect with us
Jesse Panuccio will be representing schools in a long-running legal fight over pregame prayer.


Jesse Panuccio resigns from Justice Department

Move comes as new AG William Barr assembles team.

Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio submitted his resignation from the Justice Department this week, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Now the No. 3 staff official at the Justice Department, Panuccio previously headed the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Panuccio during his time at Justice helped roll back certain Obama-era guidelines and regulations. He chairs the Regulatory Reform Task Force.

There has been speculation for weeks Panuccio would leave the Justice Department as Attorney General William Barr assembles his own leadership team there.

The National Law Journal suggested earlier this month Pannuccio would leave his position so Barr could install former White House attorney Claire Murray to the job.

Panuccio has twice held the No. 3 spot in Justice since President Donald Trump was elected. But he’s always served in an acting capacity and hasn’t received Senate confirmation.

He previously served in the capacity before the appointment and confirmation of Rachel Brand. When Brand resigned last year to take an executive position with Walmart, Panuccio moved into the post again.

Outside of regulatory reform, Panuccio oversees: Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Office on Violence Against Women, Community Relations Service, Office of Information Policy, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission and the Service members and Veterans Initiative.

From 2011 to 2013, Panuccio served as general counsel for Gov. Rick Scott. In that role, he advised Scott on judicial appointments and executive orders while serving as Florida’s chief ethics officer.

Panuccio previously served as a partner at Foley & Lardner in Miami. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law, where he taught advanced constitutional law and separation of powers.

The Harvard Law graduate as served as a law clerk for federal Judge Michael W. McConnell.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.