Attorney Kevin Ryan stepped down from his post at the Northern District of California yesterday, according to Business Week.

Ryan was responsible for prosecuting companies involved in stock options accounting irregularities in Silicon Valley.

Ryan has been leading the government's effort to prosecute companies involved in such irregularities in Silicon Valley.

His departure, the report claims, follows "an exodus of veteran prosecutors and others during his tenure, and criticism of his management style". His vacating of post was (apparently) a "mutually agreeable decision with Washington."

While a replacement hasn't been named, the report speculates Ryan's move may reduce the chance of a case against Apple, though nothing yet is set in stone.