By Dana Kozlov

(CBS) – FBI Director James Comey was fired 3 ½ years into what was supposed to be a 10-year term.

A former FBI agent who just saw Comey last week says it seems Comey had no idea this was coming.

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“His enthusiasm about the FBI is infectious,” says CBS 2 Security Consultant Ross Rice, who served in the bureau in the Chicago office.

Rice and other retired agents were at FBI headquarters for an hourlong meeting Friday. Comey, ross says, was looking forward to the FBI’s future.

“We actually asked him how his relationship with the current administration  and the Congress was. And he could not speak in more glowing terms about the attorney general, he spoke with him on a regular, almost daily basis, and they were in sync on everything they were trying to do.”

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Just days later, the U.S. attorney general is one of those expressing concern about how Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Rice stresses a director’s ouster is only supposed to be for cause — to avoid making it a partisan, political position.

“It troubles me that it is starting to become, on the fringes, politicized, and that would be a terrible thing for the country.”

Rice, who was an agent for 32 years, calls Comey a man of integrity. He believes his ouster will be a big loss to the bureau.

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He is the only the second director ever to be fired. The last was in 1993.