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Ohio Senator Says Chief Prosecutor On Householder, Sittenfeld Cases Will Be Replaced

Jan 22, 2021

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers explains a flow chart during a press conference on the charges against Speaker Larry Householder and others in July 2020.
Credit Dan Konik

The U.S. Attorney in charge of investigations into both a 61 million dollar bribery scandal involving the former Ohio House Speaker and corruption on Cincinnati City Council will be leaving that job. But Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator says those aren’t reasons to keep him in that office.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says U.S. attorneys usually change with presidential administrations. So he’s issuing a call to applicants to replace David DeVillers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio appointed by President Trump in 2019. DeVillers replaced Benjamin Glassman, who had been appointed by President Barack Obama in 2016 and held the position for a few years during the Trump administration.

Among many other cases, Devillers is overseeing the case involving Republican former Speaker Larry Householder and four others along with a utility widely believed to be FirstEnergy, centered on the nuclear bailout law that passed in 2019. Another high-profile case is the one involving corruption charges against two Democratic Cincinnati city councilmembers, P.G. Sittenfeld and Jeff Pastor.

But Brown said that won’t be a problem.

“We don’t clean house, we just change the U.S. Attorney, the top job. The professional staff will continue to do its day-by-day work," Brown said.

DeVillers’ office said DeVillers hasn’t resigned but will stay on till a new U.S. attorney is appointed by President Biden.

DeVillers had also been public in noting that any Ohioan who participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol would be charged, either by his office or by the Acting U.S. Attorney of the D.C District.

The Southern District of Ohio covers 48 Ohio counties, and includes Columbus and Cincinnati.

As for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Bridget Brennan has been in that job as Acting U.S. Attorney since Justin Herdman submitted his resignation to President Trump in December.