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Veteran prosecutor becomes acting South Carolina US Attorney

COLUMBIA (AP) — A veteran federal prosecutor has been named acting U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, following the planned resignation of the appointee named by former President Donald Trump.
Rhett DeHart has taken over as South Carolina’s top federal prosecutor, the Department of Justice announced on Monday. He will serve in that capacity until a permanent replacement is named by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“Having worked two decades in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I am extremely humbled and honored to serve as acting U.S. Attorney,” DeHart said, in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “I will continue to ensure our office remains impartial in enforcing the rule of law and committed to protecting the people of South Carolina by never giving safe harbor to criminals here.”
As is typical with changes in presidential administrations, Peter McCoy said last month he would resign as U.S. attorney effective Feb. 28 after about a year in office, calling the position “the honor of my lifetime.”
The Charleston Republican was elected to the House in 2010 and had been chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He also previously served as a county-level prosecutor.
DeHart has been a federal prosecutor since 2001, previously supervising the criminal, civil, appellate and administrative divisions as first assistant U.S. attorney. His office said DeHart had prosecuted hundreds of felony cases, including a man sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he pilfered $7 million from more than 40 clients before his Ponzi scheme collapsed.
DeHart also led prosecution of a sex trafficking case that resulted in nine convictions against defendants accused of abusing more than 100 girls and young women.
He’s authored 30 appellate briefs and argued seven cases before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. As U.S. attorney, DeHart will supervise an office of about 60 prosecutors and nearly 100 other staff in four divisions across the state.
Before signing on as a federal prosecutor, DeHart was counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Honors College at the University of South Carolina.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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