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Acting Federal Prosecutor Named For Southern Half Of Ohio

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An acting federal prosecutor was named Monday for the Southern District of Ohio after the former officeholder stepped down under the Justice Department’s transition to the administration of President Joe Biden.

Vipal Patel, a longtime assistant U.S. attorney from Dayton, will serve as acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, overseeing criminal prosecutions in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and most of Appalachian Ohio.

Patel is a longtime federal prosecutor who has served in the office’s criminal, civil and appellate divisions. He was the lead prosecutor in the 2018 trial of a man convicted of trying to joint the Islamic State, and prosecuted the friend of the 2019 Dayton mass shooter on weapons charges.

Patel, 53, lives in Dayton. He immigrated from India with his parents in 1970 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1981.

“These are huge shoes to fill, and I am humbled and honored to fill them,” Patel said in a news release. “The important work of the public servants in this Office – and their dedication to justice – continues. Our casework will persist uninterrupted.”

Patel succeeds former U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, who resigned last month after the Justice Department requested that U.S. Attorney appointees of former President Donald Trump step down.

Among the high-profile cases Patel inherits is the office’s investigation of a $60 million bribery probe that alleges the former speaker of the Ohio House and others funneled energy company money toward a legislative effort to bail out two aging nuclear power plants.

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He earned Broadcasting and Journalism degrees from the University of Florida.