HARRISBURG – United States Attorney David J. Freed, of Camp Hill, PA, has announced his resignation effective midnight January 1, 2021. Mr. Freed is departing the office after serving for more than three years as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which consists of 33 counties in Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania and has offices in Harrisburg, Scranton, and Williamsport. Mr. Freed was nominated as United States Attorney by Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, appointed by President Donald Trump in September, 2017, confirmed by the United States Senate in November, 2017, and sworn in as United States Attorney on November 27th, 2017.
Mr. Freed was born in West Chester, PA, and raised first in Pottsville, PA, and later Camp Hill, PA, where he resides with his family. He is a graduate of Camp Hill High School, Washington and Lee University, and the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. Prior to his appointment as United States Attorney, Mr. Freed served for twelve years as the District Attorney of Cumberland County.
“I have been enormously privileged to be able to serve my fellow citizens, first as a young prosecutor in York County, then later in several positions in Cumberland County including 12 years as District Attorney, and finally as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. I have done my best to be thoughtful and consistent, and to provide justice to my fellow citizens in a fair, effective and efficient manner. I am grateful to President Trump and Senators Toomey and Casey for the opportunity to serve; and to former Attorneys General Sessions and Barr for their leadership of the Department.”
“I have had the incredible opportunity to work with our brave men and women in law enforcement nearly every day for the past 20 years and continue to be amazed by their commitment to their fellow citizens. I have witnessed first-hand the fortitude and grace of victims of crime, and have taken to heart the awesome responsibility of speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
“For the past three years, I have had the great fortune to work with the highly skilled attorneys and staff in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. It is an office blessed with experienced and dedicated leaders, and colleagues who truly understand the importance of working together for the benefit of their fellow citizens. It was not difficult to recognize, frankly before I even started, that the office was efficient and productive, and was in need of very little change. More than anything over the past three years, I have endeavored above all to tell the story of the great accomplishments of the office. While the public words are mine, the accomplishments belong to them.”
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania consists of three distinct Divisions: Criminal, Civil, and Administrative. The accomplishments of each Division during Mr. Freed’s tenure are many and varied.
Foremost among the office’s accomplishments during Mr. Freed’s tenure has been the continued commitment to working together with state and local partners in an effort to reduce violent crimes in targeted areas throughout the District. As part of the Department of Justice priority programs Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian, the office has worked hand in hand with District Attorneys, state and local law enforcement and community partners in target areas including the cities of Harrisburg, Wilkes Barre, Williamsport, and York to address gun violence at a micro level. I am happy to report that our efforts have been successful as reflected by recent statistics showing significant reductions in gun violence throughout the District. In addition, the office pursued and successfully prosecuted numerous priority cases in the areas of public corruption, drug trafficking, drug delivery resulting in death, drug distribution and illegal prescribing by medical professionals, fraud, sex trafficking and exploitation of minors, environmental crimes and illegal immigration.
The office’s Civil Division has wide areas of responsibility, from defending federal agencies and employees in civil matters to immigration, discrimination matters, and prisoner litigation. Following a reorganization of the office’s affirmative civil efforts, the Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit was formed to allow a dedicated team of attorneys and investigators to attack fraud against the government. The ACE unit has enjoyed nearly immediate success, bringing cases and negotiating the return of millions of taxpayer dollars that individuals and businesses had obtained by fraudulent means. The Civil Division continues to focus upon important polling place access discrimination cases throughout the district with the goal of ensuring that every eligible citizen will be able to cast a vote regardless of any disability. With a federal prison population that is larger than all but two other districts in the nation, the dedicated prisoner litigation attorneys and paralegals handle a constant stream of cases from the district’s federal correctional institutions with extremely favorable outcomes.
Notwithstanding the current pandemic and the longest government shutdown in United States history, the office’s Administrative Division has been exceedingly productive during the past three years. Chief among these accomplishments has been the institution of a yearly strategic planning process including individual employee self-assessments and clear yearly goals updated annually and monitored throughout the year. In addition, the support of the Administrative Division has allowed the Financial Litigation Unit to collect well in excess of the District’s budget each year, and allowed the District to maintain its position as the one of the most productive medium sized offices in the nation.
Upon Mr. Freed’s departure, First Assistant United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler will assume the position of United States Attorney pursuant to the Vacancies Reform Act. Mr. Brandler has been with the office for more than 30 years, and previously served as United States Attorney from 2016 to 2017.
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