NewsGovernmentLocal Politics


U.S. attorney for Southern Ohio district to resign amid City Hall corruption cases

Exit part of Trump-to-Biden White House transition
Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 19:58:35-05

CINCINNATI — The U.S. attorney who made headlines last year for bringing federal corruption charges against three sitting members of Cincinnati City Council announced Tuesday he would resign at the end of the month.

U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers -- appointed in 2019 by former President Donald Trump -- said in a statement Tuesday, "[I]t was my wish to remain a prosecutor until the end of my career, but that is not to be.

"While it was my hope to continue on for a few more months to finish some of the work we have started, I am absolutely certain that the [assistant U.S. attorneys] and investigators working for the people of the Southern District of Ohio will bring this work to a successful and just closure," he said.

That work included the arrests and indictments of Cincinnati City Councilmen Jeff Pastor and P.G. Sittenfeld in November and now-former City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard nearly a year ago, all on public corruption charges. Dennard ultimately pleaded guilty to accepting $15,000 in exchange for votes on a development deal. Pastor and Sittenfeld currently face similar charges and are temporarily suspended from Council pending the results of their trials.

DeVillers also led the team that brought charges against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder for his alleged involvement in the House Bill 6 scandal involving Ohio energy providers.

In an email to WPCO, DeVillers' spokesperson, Jennifer Thornton, added: "Our casework will continue without interruption, and the career prosecutors handling the cases remain with our office."

An earlier news release from the U.S. Department of Justice hinted that a number of Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys might be headed out the door.

"Earlier this year, nearly all presidential appointees from the previous administration offered their resignations, though U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals were asked to temporarily remain in place," the release stated.

In his statement Tuesday, DeVillers said, "I am committed to support and assist whoever the President and Senate choose to permanently replace me to the best that I can. I encourage that person to be just, apolitical, aggressive and impactful."

The USDOJ did not indicate specifically when they expect to receive replacement nominations for vacated U.S. attorney seats.

DeVillers' last day in office will be Feb. 28.