Role of U.S. Attorneys discussed on next 'The Law Works'

By Chris Dickerson | Mar 14, 2012



CHARLESTON -- United States Attorneys are the chief federal law enforcement officers in their districts. They represent the United States in a variety of cases and have significant responsibilities as well as broad power.

On the next "The Law Works," host Dan Ringer will interview West Virginia's Northern District U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

Watch this episode of "The Law Works" on Thursday, March 22 at 8:30 p.m. on West Virginia PBS.

Ihlenfeld was appointed and confirmed in 2010 and has served his entire career in public service. Prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney, he was assistant prosecuting attorney in Ohio County for 10 years and Brooke County for three years. Since becoming U.S. Attorney, Ihlenfeld has continued to prosecute serious felony matters and has implemented many new programs including the Mountaineer Highway Interdiction Team, the Northern District Financial Crimes Task Force, and a comprehensive anti-violence strategy known as Project POWER.

According to the U.S. Attorneys website, United States Attorneys conduct most of the trial work in which the United States is a party.

They have three statutory responsibilities:

* The prosecution of criminal cases brought by the Federal Government;

* 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.

Although caseloads vary from district to district, each office deals with every category of cases and handles litigation ranging from simple to complex.

West Virginia has two U.S. Attorney districts, both appointed by the
President of the United States.

The Northern District is represented by Ihlenfeld and covers 32 counties in four divisions: Wheeling Division (Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler), Clarksburg Division (Monongalia, Marion, Preston, Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge, Pleasants, Ritchie, Gilmer, Calhoun, Braxton), Elkins Division (Lewis, Barbour, Tucker, Grant, Hardy, Upshur, Randolph, Pendleton, Webster, Pocahontas), and Martinsburg Division (Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson).

The Southern District is represented by R. Booth Goodwin II and covers 23 counties in five divisions: Parkersburg Division (Wood, Wirt), Charleston Division (Jackson, Roane, Clay, Nicholas, Putnam, Kanawha, Lincoln, Boone, Logan, Mingo), Huntington Division (Wayne, Cabell, Mason), Bluefield Division (McDowell, Mercer, Monroe) and Beckley Division (Wyoming, Raleigh, Summers, Fayette and Greenbrier).

"The Law Works" is the state's only weekly television show discussing legal issues that affect the lives of every day citizens. Watch "The Law Works" each Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on West Virginia PBS and Fridays at 11 a.m. on WV PBS.2, where available.

Episodes of The Law Works may also be viewed in their entirety on the West Virginia Public Broadcasting website and the West Virginia Public Broadcasting You Tube channel the day after the original broadcast. Viewers may also follow "The Law Works" Facebook page.

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