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Biden-appointed U.S. attorney sworn in for Central District

December 19, 2021 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gregory K. Harris, who has spent a quarter-century as an assistant U.S. attorney, has been sworn in as the chief federal prosecutor for the Central District of Illinois.

Harris, who was nominated for the post by President Joe Biden in October and confirmed by the Senate this month, took the oath this past week before Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow.

Harris’ history with the office dates back 40 years. He was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1980 to 1988 and took a 13-year diversion to private practice before returning to the assistant U.S. attorney’s post in 2001.

Harris described the promotion as an honor and promised to continue working with law enforcement agencies and to “pursue equal justice under the law.”

“This office has a long history of excellence and integrity and has demonstrated its strong commitment to community safety,” Harris said in a statement. “I am eager to get to work.”

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During his time in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Harris has held a number of leadership positions, including chief of the criminal division. His private practice experience came as a partner in the Springfield-based Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes law firm. Before that, he served as legal counsel in state government agencies and a stint as an assistant appellate defender in the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender.

Harris received a law degree from what is now the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. He earned a bachelor’s from from Howard University in 1971.