Ex ADA Tapped for US Attorney Post

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By Tom Caprood

ALBANY (The Record) — Richard Hartunian, a federal prosecutor and former Albany County assistant district attorney, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

The president made the nomination Wednesday, with Hartunian, along with six other nominees across the country, currently awaiting confirmation by the US Senate.

If confirmed, Hartunian would succeed acting US Attorney Andrew Baxter, who took over the position on an interim basis in September of 2008 after Glenn Suddaby resigned to serve as a US District judge.

“These men and women have not only the legal experience and aptitude, but the commitment to public service to make exemplary United States attorneys,” said Obama. “I am honored to nominate them and look forward to their continued service on behalf of the American people.”

US attorneys are charged with representing the federal government in cases before US district courts and US courts of appeals.

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Hartunian said he could not comment on the nomination when reached at his office on Thursday. Calls to the US Department of Justice were not immediately returned.

Hartunian has been an assistant US attorney in the district since 1997 and previously worked as an assistant district attorney in Albany County, as well as a partner at the Hartunian and Clark law firm. Prior to 1990, he was an associate attorney at Devine, Piedmont, and Rutnik.

He graduated from Georgetown University in 1983 and from Albany Law School of Union University in 1986.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) nominated Hartunian and recommended him for the position back in May in his capacity as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which also handles the confirmation of US attorneys.

“Mr. Hartunian’s commitment to justice and the safety of the people of New York State is evident in his lifetime in public service,” said Schumer at the time. “His brilliance, dedication, and experience in the Northern District make him an unparalleled choice.”

Hartunian also serves as the Parish Council chairman for the St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in Watervliet.

The Northern District encompasses the counties of: Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren and Washington.

Obama also nominated William Hochul Jr. to serve as the US attorney for the state’s western district.

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