Back during the FISA Amendment Act, Jay Rockefeller tried hard to prevent DOJ’s Inspector General, Glenn Fine, to have any role in overseeing the revamped domestic surveillance program. I always assumed that was because Fine, unlike the other Inspectors General (except perhaps John Helgerson, whom Michael Hayden had thoroughly neutralized by that point anyway) was actually effective. Fine was a particular problem because he treated the work FBI did in its counterterrorist guise–like surveilling peace activists–as he did his other work.

Well, it looks like the expansive executive branch doesn’t have Glenn Fine to worry about anymore.

Glenn A. Fine is stepping down as Inspector General at the Department of Justice after a decade in the post, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday.

“I believe it is time for me to pursue new professional challenges,” Fine, 54, said in a letter to President Barack Obama and to Holder in which he said he was proud of his service at DOJ.

Holder, in turn, praised Fine, who will depart in January. “In the Justice Department’s most critical operations and practices, especially our efforts to combat corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, the work done by the Office of the Inspector General is essential,” Holder said on the DOJ’s internal “watchdog.”

“Thanks to Glenn’s outstanding leadership, this Office has never been stronger,” Holder said in a statement.

Note, Fine’s office has recently been under attack for its recent report showing that Chris Christie and other Rove favorite US Attorneys like Mary Beth Buchanan were big spenders on the taxpayer dime. Let’s hope that noise machine whir has nothing to do with his departure.