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Nominee for Northern Ohio U.S. Attorney Gets Bipartisan Support in a Partisan Time


President Trump’s nomination of a Cleveland attorney to be the next U.S. Attorney for Northern Ohio is winning bipartisan praise.  

Justin Herdman had been an assistant under both Republican and Democratic U.S. attorneys in the Northern Ohio office and was nominated by Ohio’s Democratic and Republican senators.

He’s been a partner at the Jones Day law firm and teaches part-time at Case Western Reserve University. Case Professor Lewis Katz says Herdman is widely praised – though to Katz, there’s a down side in that Herdman may have to resist political pressure on what has been an independent office.

“Ordinarily it would be the highest compliment in the world to be appointed U.S. attorney. I feel sorry for Justin that he’s being appointed by this president.”

Herdman, a Harvard grad and U.S. Air Force Reserve judge advocate, worked in the U.S. attorney’s office from 2006 to 2013. He was on the team that prosecuted five people convicted of plotting to blow up a bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Here are the statements of Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown on Herdman's nomination:

BROWN: “Justin Herdman is an experienced prosecutor and public servant who has what it takes to serve Ohio’s Northern District. He brings a broad range of experience to the table, which will help him tackle the important issues in northern Ohio like overseeing the consent decree in Cleveland and working to tackle our state’s opioid epidemic. I’m pleased to join Senator Portman in supporting his nomination.”

PORTMAN: “Justin Herdman has the unique qualifications that are needed to lead as the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District. His legal, military, and public service background, combined with his skill set addressing complex legal issues, makes him a strong candidate for this position that will serve the citizens of Ohio well.  I look forward to his approval by the full Senate so that we can work together to address the heroin epidemic impacting our state, combat human trafficking, and stop violent crime in our communities.”  

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.