By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Charles Evans will retire early next year after 15 years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a tenure that made him the longest-serving regional Fed president. Among Fed officials, Evans has been a vocal supporter of lower interest rates. His departure comes as the Fed is wrestling with how quickly and how high to boost its benchmark short-term rate in its fight against inflation, which is at its worst level in four decades. Regional Fed presidents like Evans take part in the central bank’s eight policymaking meetings each year.