Rhode Island’s new US attorney, Zachary Cunha, sworn in

December 14, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s new U.S. attorney is on the job.

The U.S. attorney’s office announced Zachary Cunha took the oath of office Monday to become the U.S. attorney for the District of Rhode Island. U.S. District Court Chief Judge John McConnell administered the oath in U.S. District Court in a brief ceremony attended by members of Cunha’s family and other judges.

Cunha was chief of the civil division for the U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island. The U.S. attorney is the top federal law enforcement official in the state responsible for overseeing an office that prosecutes federal cases.

Cunha was nominated by President Joe Biden in September on the advice Democratic U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

A lawyer for two decades, Cunha spent most of his career with the Department of Justice, serving in the U.S. attorney’s office for Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the Eastern District of New York, where he was first appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2005. He has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a law degree from George Washington University.

He said he’s humbled and honored to lead the office and continue its tradition of seeking justice on behalf of every resident, and he’s looking forward to working closely with partners in law enforcement and with communities and community leaders across Rhode Island.