David DeVillers, the U.S. Attorney whose office has led the prosecution of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, will soon be replaced, Sen. Sherrod Brown confirmed on Thursday.
DeVillers was appointed to the position by President Donald Trump and confirmed by a Republican-led U.S. Senate in 2019. Brown told reporters that both U.S. Attorney positions in Ohio would be replaced with Democrats regaining control of the White House and U.S. Senate.
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio already resigned earlier this month. DeVillers will be staying on until a successor is appointed and confirmed, according to Brown’s office.
While it is common for presidents to replace federal attorneys upon taking office, some had called for the Biden administration to keep DeVillers in his post.
“Every president is entitled to, with Senate approval, his own team of federal prosecutors,” wrote Mark Weaver, a former deputy attorney general of Ohio, in a Columbus Dispatch guest column last month. “However, as Ohioans know, DeVillers is leading an aggressive and much-needed effort to stem the tide of pernicious public corruption that shatters faith in government.”
Brown has issued a call for applicants to the U.S. Attorney position, with the web page stating he “will be working to recommend candidates to the Biden Administration.”
DeVillers became the face of the Householder prosecution when he appeared at a press conference to announce racketeering charges against the speaker and four of his political operatives. The five were arrested July 21 as part of an alleged $61 million bribery scheme to get a $1.3 billion nuclear bailout bill enacted in 2019, which DeVillers described as being “likely the largest bribery and money-laundering scheme ever in the state of Ohio.”
Two of those charged have since pleaded guilty, while the others (including Householder) have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
More recently, DeVillers pledged justice would be served against anyone from the Southern District of Ohio who committed crimes during the attempted U.S. Capitol insurrection:
Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.