WASHINGTON — David Nelson, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Miami regional office who played a key role in filing the first-ever commission enforcement case involving muni interest rate swaps, plans to leave the SEC at the end of next month to join Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Ft. Lauderdale.

The SEC announced Nelson’s plans to join the law firm in a two-page release issued yesterday.

Nelson has headed the SEC’s Miami office for nine years. He joined the commission in 1984 as a staff attorney in the enforcement division here and rose to branch chief in the division before relocating to the Miami office.

Nelson was twice designated as a special assistant U.S. attorney to work on criminal matters for the Southern District of New York and for the Southern District of Florida.

He presided over the SEC’s filing securities fraud and related charges in late April 2008 against Larry Langford, Birmingham mayor and former Jefferson County, Ala., Commission chairman, Alabama bond dealer William Blount, his firm Blount Parrish & Co., and lobbyist Albert LaPierre over undisclosed payments made in connection with muni bond and swap deals done for Jefferson County.

The SEC case, which is on hold pending the outcome of related criminal cases, may set precedent on the extent of the commission’s jurisdiction over municipal swaps.

But even before the SEC filed charges in the case, it submitted documents on its investigation to a federal court in a legal dispute with Langford and Blount over whether the agency had the right to subpoena them.

“David Nelson has served the commission for two decades with distinction, leading the Miami office in its examinations of securities firms and in some of our most significant enforcement cases,” SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said yesterday in the release. “We owe him a debt of gratitude for his dedication, commitment and service.”

Nelson earned numerous awards at the SEC, including the Justice Department’s John Marshall Award, the SEC chairman’s Special Act Award, the Capital Markets Award, and the Chief Postal Inspector’s Special Award, the SEC said.

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