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U.S. Attorney Who Launched Ohio Nuclear Bailout Bribery Probe Resigns

U.S. Atty. David DeVillers (speaking) and ATF Special Agent in Charge Roland Herndon at a press conference announcing the new prosecution strategy.
Nick Evans
/
WOSU
U.S. Atty. David DeVillers (speaking) and ATF Special Agent in Charge Roland Herndon at a press conference announcing the new prosecution strategy.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio has submitted his resignation. David DeVillers is one of 56 U.S. Attorneys appointed by former President Trump asked to resign by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice.

DeVillers said in a written statement that he had hoped to stay on as U.S. Attorney until his successor was appointed. He urged the next U.S. Attorney to be just, apolitical, aggressive and impactful.

"It is with a heavy heart that I announced my resignation," DeVillers wrote. "I have been a prosecutor for my entire career, and it was my wish to remain a prosecutor until the end of my career, but that is not to be."

DeVillers, who was appointed by Trump in 2019 to replace outgoing U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman, was heading up several high-profile cases throughout the state. He made a splash last summer by announced racketeering charges against five individuals, including then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, accusing them of funneling $60 million in bribes from a utility company in exchange for securing the passage of a nuclear bailout law.

So far, two defendants and the dark money group Generation Now have pleaded guilty in the $60 million conspiracy. Householder has pleaded not guilty and remains in the Ohio legislature after winning reelection in November.

DeVillers last year announced corruption cases against three current and former members of Cincinnati City Council, who are accused of taking bribes in exchange for favorable votes on development projects. One, Tamaya Dennard, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to honest wire fraud.

And in Columbus, DeVillers was coordinating the federal criminal and civil rights investigation into the killing of Casey Goodson Jr. by a Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy, and another civil rights probe of the killing of Andre Hill by a since-fired Columbus Police officer.

"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 AUSAs and investigators working for the people of the Southern District of Ohio will bring this work to a successful and just closure," DeVillers said.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Justin Herdman, resigned last month.