U.S. Attorney Don Cochran announced today, Feb. 22, that he is leaving his post at the end of the month, as requested by the White House and the Department of Justice. Cochran submitted his resignation to the White House last week, effective Feb. 28.

Cochran was sworn in on Sept. 21, 2017, returning to the Justice Department after serving from 1998 to 2002 as an assistant U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, where he successfully prosecuted the final defendant charged with the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church.

He leaves a legacy of partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that have come together to address a wide variety of critical issues, including violent crime, according to a news release from his office. Under his leadership, the Project Safe Nashville initiative was formed in cooperation with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office; and others, and quickly doubled the number of federal firearms prosecutions. This initiative was soon expanded to include the entire Middle District of Tennessee and has resulted in hundreds of dangerous repeat offenders being removed from local communities and sentenced to federal prison.

Cochran also has been successful in adding to the number of federal prosecutors in the Middle District, which has greatly expanded the bandwidth of federal prosecutions, including white-collar crime, public corruption and organized criminal activity.

“Serving the citizens of the Middle District as their U.S. Attorney for the last three and a half years has been the highest honor of my professional life. I am confident that the team of exceptional lawyers and support staff that we have built and our law enforcement and community partnerships will continue to protect and defend the citizens of the district and live up to the high standards of the Department of Justice,” Cochran said.

Upon Cochran’s departure, First Assistant Mary Jane Stewart will become the acting United States attorney.

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