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Hochul steps down as U.S. attorney

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced Wednesday he will retire Oct. 28 after nearly 30 years in the Department of Justice.

President Barack Obama nominated Hochul to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York in 2009. Following unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate in 2010, he oversaw the prosecution of all federal criminal cases brought within the 17 counties of Western New York.

Hochul joined the Department of Justice in 1987 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. He returned to his hometown of Buffalo when he became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York in 1991.

Hochul became one of the first federal prosecutors to utilize the federal racketeering laws to dismantle an entire street gang. The prosecution of the “LA Boys” resulted in the murder rate in the City of Buffalo decreasing by nearly 50 percent, Hochul said.

“While the threat to Americans and Western New Yorkers has changed over the decades of my service, it has been my experience that certain fundamental truths have remained constant,” Hochul said. “First, the commitment of law enforcement to protect and serve the public has never wavered, and it has been an honor to work with these heroes. Second, the system in which we operate is truly the best the world has ever seen. Finally, it has been a great privilege to be able to achieve justice for those who have been targeted or hurt by vicious predators, unscrupulous fraudsters, and criminals of every type.”

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