Fort Ann, NY, Jan 29, 2010 — A North Country officer chosen by the White House to head the Army National Guard has withdrawn his name from consideration. Major General Joseph Taluto, who lives in Fort Ann, in Washington County, was chosen by President Obama to lead the Guard nationwide back in May of 2009. But his nomination was held up by the controversy surrounding the murder of two of his officers during a deployment to Iraq in 2005. In a statement issued yesterday, Taluto said that the confirmation process had become a "distraction." He also announced that he will retire as head of New York state's national guard, ending a 44-year career. Brian Mann's report on Taluto's nomination first aired last May.