RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY -

The U.S. Attorney for the North Carolina Eastern District says he has made changes in his staff after a federal appeals court said it was concerned with the conduct of prosecutors in the office.

Thomas Walker told The News & Observer of Raleigh that he has removed Robert Higdon from his role as criminal chief prosecutor for the office. Higdon will become a senior litigator, while current senior litigator Dennis Duffy will be the new criminal division chief.

J. Frank Bradsher is being removed from his job as deputy chief for the narcotics section. Prosecutor Leslie Cooley will assume that role.

Walker wouldn't talk about the changes. But judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have publicly complained the office didn't turn over evidence to defense attorneys.