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Local digest

Top clerk leaves job at federal court

The top clerk of the District's federal court has retired after 18 years in the job.

During a ceremony Friday, federal judges, judicial officials and friends said Nancy Mayer-Whittington spent her career pushing the court to improve its technology and services.

Mayer-Whittington, 56, joined the clerk's office of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 1977. She was promoted to the top clerk position in 1991. Mayer-Whittington told colleagues that she plans to spend her retirement writing and working for Isaiah's Promise, a support group she co-founded for people who continue a pregnancy after learning that the fetus has severe or fatal birth defects.

-- Del Quentin Wilber


FBI official to retire at Christmastime

One of the region's top FBI agents has announced that he is retiring on Christmas.

Joseph Persichini Jr. has served as the chief of the Washington Field Office, which covers the District and Northern Virginia, since 2006. Leading the office is one of the highest-profile assignments in federal law enforcement. During his 33-year FBI career, Persichini has worked out of FBI offices in Alexandria, Denver, New York and Miami.

In a brief phone interview, Persichini said he chose Dec. 25 as his final day on the job as a "Christmas gift for my wife."

He said he told his staff about his retirement plans Thursday.

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