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The U.S. attorney for South Carolina said Friday he will step down to become head of the State Law Enforcement Division.

Reggie Lloyd said the formal announcement would come from Gov. Mark Sanford at a news conference later Friday.

Lloyd's appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.

"I'm still in love with public service," he told The Associated Press. "I thought about it and prayed about it, and I thought it'd be a great way to continue to service South Carolina."

Lloyd was nominated as U.S. attorney by President Bush in December 2005 after being recommended by Sen. Lindsey Graham. He was the first black since Reconstruction to hold that position in South Carolina.

After graduating from law school at the University of South Carolina in 1993, Lloyd worked on business litigation at the Columbia firm Nexsen Pruet Adams and Kleemeier before joining then-Attorney General Charlie Condon's staff.

From 1998 to 2000, he worked as research director and chief counsel to the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee, when he was involved in defending the state's redistricting plan against charges that it was illegally drawn along racial lines.

He was elected to the circuit court bench in 2003, where he served until Bush named him U.S. attorney.

Lloyd's U.S. attorney appointment was to expire at the end of Bush's term in office.

Lloyd would replace longtime chief Robert Stewart, who announced his retirement in November after leading the agency for 20 years. He has said he now plans to start a consulting business.

During Stewart's tenure, SLED created an automated fingerprint information system, a state DNA database and a computer crime center.

By law, the SLED chief also heads up the state's homeland security efforts.

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