Richard S. Hartunian

United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York at United States Department of Justice

Richard S. Hartunian

Richard S. Hartunian

United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York at United States Department of Justice

Biography

On December 23, 2009, President Obama nominated Richard S. Hartunian to become the 48th United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York. Hartunian took office on January 3, 2010, with interim status until his confirmation by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010. Hartunian was sworn in by United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby on February 19, 2010.

Hartunian is a 1983 cum laude graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University and a 1986 graduate of the Albany Law School of Union University. He was engaged in the general private practice of law at the firm of Devine, Piedmont and Rutnik in Albany from 1987 to 1990. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County from 1990 to 1997, where his work on narcotics and violent crime cases led to his designation as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1994.

Hartunian became an Assistant United States Attorney in 1997. He served as the Northern District’s Narcotics Chief and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator from 2006 until his appointment as U. S. Attorney in 2010. During his tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, Hartunian successfully prosecuted numerous large drug, gang, and violent crime cases. He has received many awards for his work, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons General Counsel's Exemplary Assistance Award, the Narcotics Enforcement Officers' Association U.S. Department of Justice Award , various Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Regional Awards, and several case-related commendations.

In May of 2010, Hartunian was honored by the Armenian Bar Association as the first Presidentially appointed United States Attorney of Armenian descent.

As United States Attorney, Hartunian serves as Vice Chair of the Border and Immigration Subcommittee of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee (AGAC), in which he leads the Northern Border Working Group of United States Attorneys, focusing on U.S. - Canadian law enforcement issues. He is also an active member of three other AGAC subcommittees: the Health Care Fraud Subcommittee, the Environmental Crimes Subcommittee and the Native American Issues Subcommittee – the longest standing subcommittee of the United States Attorneys within the Department of Justice, focusing on improving law enforcement efforts in tribal communities.

Initiatives spearheaded by the United States Attorney’s Office during Hartunian’s tenure include: the “LEADership Project,” a youth violence reduction program designed to reach every 5th grade student in the Albany City School District to help them steer clear of vandalism, drugs, gangs, and violence by developing positive goals for the future; the Albany Youth Court, a student peer review court established to address minor youth crimes; and a Summit on Prescription Drug Abuse, which brought together leaders and experts in public health, law enforcement, medicine, pharmaceuticals, education, and business to address the growing crisis of prescription drug abuse.

The United States Attorneys serve as the nation’s principal litigators, under the direction of the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice. There is one United States Attorney for each judicial district in the United States and its territories. The primary statutory responsibilities of the United States Attorneys are: the prosecution of federal criminal cases; the prosecution and defense of civil cases in which the United States is a party; and the collection of debts owed the federal government which are administratively uncollectible.

The Northern District of New York is comprised of thirty-two counties in upstate New York, covering an area of over 30,000 square miles that is home to about 3.4 million people. The District includes 300 miles of the U.S. border with Canada. The United States Attorney has offices in Syracuse, Albany, Binghamton, and Plattsburgh, New York.

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Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Former Chief, Appellate Division, US Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama at United States Department of Justice

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Partner at Stoel Rives LLP

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Former United States Attorney for the District of Maine at United States Department of Justice

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Judge at United States District Court for the Central District of California

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Partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

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Judge at United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

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United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam & the Northern Mariana Islands at United States Department of Justice

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Former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky at United States Department of Justice

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Partner at Dechert LLP

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Richard S. Hartunian
United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York at United States Department of Justice
Education
Graduate
Class of 1986

Albany Law School is located in the heart of New York's capital, and is the oldest independent law school in North America. With more than 160 years of experience in law education, the law school's students and alumni embark on brilliant careers—a U.S. president, governors including New York's current governor, chief counsels to Fortune 500 companies, and seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. Albany Law's outstanding location—the only law school within 90 miles of New York's capital—offers unparalleled opportunities for law students. Albany, the home of New York's highest court, federal courts, and the state legislature, is itself a laboratory for the study of law. Albany Law School offers J.D. and LL.M. degrees, 14 concentrations and several joint degrees through accredited colleges and universities in the Capital Region and New York City. A wide array of field placements, including internships through the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center and the Government Law Center, provide students essential hands-on learning. The Career Center assists students from their first day at Albany Law. With more than 10,000 alumni practicing in every state in the country, and several continents, Albany Law’s graduates serve as a vital community and resource for the law school and its students. Albany Law offers a close-knit community of dedicated students, accessible faculty and ample opportunities.

Graduate, cum laude
Class of 1983

Georgetown College, the oldest Catholic College in the United States, was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore. A progressive citizen of his time, he firmly believed in the principles of the United States Constitution. He made it clear that the new college was to be open to students of every religious persuasion. On March 1, 1815, President James Madison signed the act of Congress which chartered the College of Georgetown. In 1844, it was incorporated by another congressional act. During the years of the Civil War, Georgetown students fought for the North and South. Later the colors blue and gray were adopted by the College to signify the reunited nation and the sons of Georgetown who had served on both sides in its civil war. From its founding to the present day, the graduates of Georgetown College have taken their places in the forefront of almost every human endeavor. They serve as educators, public servants, and statesmen; they work in business, law, medicine, and research. Today, proud of its tradition and heritage, Georgetown, through all its graduates, seeks to serve the communities and the world in which it lives. The College exists to provide a liberal education for young men and women who will be called to intellectual, moral, and professional leadership, and to foster in them a lifelong commitment to the quest for truth. As a Jesuit college, it draws upon a dynamic tradition of education, characterized by an optimistic Christian humanism and committed to the assumption of responsibility and action. Accordingly, the College seeks to encourage the development of critical powers, respect for tradition and human reason, and an appreciation of life and all its endeavors. It promotes not only the intellectual disciplines but also the search for personal values and convictions that will enable its graduates, throughout their lives, to continue redefining and maturing their thought, and also to continue pursuing the integration of their activities, values, and relations with others. In light of these aims, the College has developed a diversified academic program in which fundamental issues and ultimate values play an integral role. A high priority is placed on quality teaching and on developing a community of learning among its faculty, students, and administrators.

Career History
United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York
Current

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interests of the United States according to the law; ensures public safety against threats foreign and domestic; provides federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeks just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and ensures fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Assistant District Attorney
1990 - 1997
Attorney
1987 - 1990
Other Affiliations
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