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Government & Politics

Justin Herdman Will Step Down As Northern Ohio's U.S. Attorney

a photo of Justin Herdman
Matt Richmond
/
WCPN
Justin Herdman plans to leave the job as northern Ohio's top federal prosecutor Jan. 8.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman will step down from his job as Northern Ohio’s top federal prosecutor in January, his office announced Wednesday.

Herdman, a former partner at the law firm Jones Day, did not specify where he would head next, saying in a press statement as that he was “soon to re-enter private life.” President Donald Trump had nominated him in May to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

His last day as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio will be Jan. 8, 2021, less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“There are not many jobs where you can work every day to ensure the safety and well-being of millions of your neighbors and friends,” Herdman said in a statement released by his office Wednesday. “Northern Ohio is where I grew up, it is where my wife and I chose to raise a family, and it is where I have always wanted to spend my entire career.”

Trump nominated Herdman in 2017. For more than three years, he oversaw federal prosecutions in the northern part of the state, putting an emphasis on drugs and violent crime.

His office worked to carry out Operation Legend and Operation Relentless Pursuit, two related law enforcement initiatives of the Trump administration.

Herdman also took part in a Justice Department pilot program to bring federal charges in cases involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the Lorain area.

When prosecutors indicted a man for alleged threats against a Jewish community center in Youngstown, Herdman delivered a broadside against white nationalists that garnered national attention.

Herdman also pursued federal charges against several people, including two men from Erie, Pa., in connection with the May 30 demonstrations in downtown Cleveland that spiraled into vandalism and arson.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget Brennan will step in as acting U.S. attorney when Herdman leaves the job in January.

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