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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch's longtime chief of staff will resign from the senator's office before the end of the year.
Patricia Knight said she is leaving before a new law takes effect in January that restricts congressional staffers from lobbying the chamber where they worked for two years. There is a one-year restriction in place now.
"It was extremely tough for me, but in the end I felt like I owed it to myself for my future development to not be limited," she said. "That's the only reason I'm doing it now. I love the job and Senator Hatch and working for the people of Utah."
Knight had worked for Hatch, a Republican, since 1993.
"Trish has a reputation as one of the best senior legislative staff members of Capitol Hill. But those who know her well realize that she is the best on the Hill," Hatch said in a statement. "She's been my right arm for years and done more for the people of Utah and for this country than I think anyone will ever realize."
Hatch promoted Jace Johnson, his legislative director, to take over as chief of staff. Johnson is a graduate of Brigham Young University and has worked for Hatch for several years on issues including transportation, trade, welfare and telecommunications.
------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)