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Harrington to serve as Acting U.S. Attorney for Eastern Washington

March 13, 2017 Updated Mon., March 13, 2017 at 5:34 p.m.

Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Longtime Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington will serve as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington after Mike Ormsby was asked last Friday to resign by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Harrington has worked since 1990 for the Eastern District of Washington, which is includes all counties east of the Cascade Mountains. Holding various titles, including Criminal Chief Deputy, Harrington helped prosecute Kevin Harpham, who placed a bomb on the route of the Martin Luther King Day Unity March in 2011 and Karl F. Thompson, Jr., who was convicted the same year of using excessive force on Otto Zehm and lying to investigators about the encounter.

Harrington received his law degree from Gonzaga University in 1986. He said the new role changes little as the office waits for a new U.S. Attorney to be appointed by Trump.

“I can say without hesitation that the dedicated employees in this office, including the assistant U.S. attorneys and staff, will continue their service to the citizens of the Eastern District of Washington and the U.S. Department of Justice,” Harrington said.

Ormsby was one of 46 of the remaining U.S. attorneys previously appointed by former President Barack Obama who were ousted last week. Ormsby replaced Jim McDevitt, who was nominated by George W. Bush.

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