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Richard S. Hartunian ’86 is ready for his next challenge after completing 20 years with the U.S. Department of Justice—the last seven-plus as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.
Hartunian retired from public service on June 30.
In a statement, he called his tenure as U.S. Attorney “the highest professional privilege of my lifetime.”
“It has been an honor to work with the men and women of the Department of Justice and to witness the immeasurable commitment to justice of my law enforcement colleagues throughout the nation,” Hartunian said. “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to lead an office of outstanding, dedicated professionals who work tirelessly, day in and day out, to keep our communities safe.”
Hartunian took office as U.S. Attorney for the 32-county Northern District of New York in 2010 after being nominated by President Barack Obama.
As the district’s top prosecutor, Hartunian held counterterrorism as his No. 1 priority. Among his most high-profile cases was the prosecution of Glendon Scott Crawford, the first person in the U.S. convicted of plotting to possess and use a radiological dispersal “dirty bomb” device. Hartunian’s legacy also includes emphasizing
security at the U.S.-Canada border, narcotics and gang prosecutions, and fighting corruption and financial fraud.
Hartunian is a graduate of Georgetown University and Albany Law School, Class of 1986. He began his career in private practice at the Albany firm
Devine, Piedmont and Rutnik before joining the Albany County District Attorney’s office under late
D.A. Sol Greenberg '48. Hartunian served as an Albany County Assistant District Attorney from 1990 to 1997 and was designated a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1994.
He joined the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1997 and served as Narcotics Chief and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator for the Northern District from 2006 to 2010.
“Throughout his service as a career prosecutor and as United States Attorney, Rick Hartunian has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said. “He is an excellent colleague and a reliable friend. I thank Rick for his 20 years of distinguished federal service and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career.”
On July 11, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP announced that Hartunian will be joining the firm’s New York City office as a partner in the corporate investigations and white collar defense practice. The firm said he would focus on "internal investigations, criminal and regulatory enforcement actions, and high-stakes civil litigation" when he starts in August.
Hartunian was Albany Law School’s Spring 2014 Alumnus in Residence. Over the years he participated in a number of other campus events, including the 2016 Justice Jackson Lecture Series conversation entitled “The Path to the Federal Prosecutor's Office.”
He received the Distinguished Alumnus in Government Award from Albany Law this past April.
U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian reflects on distinguished career [WNYT-TV] •
U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian poised for the next step [Albany Times Union] •
Hartunian retires as U.S. attorney, reflects on career [The Daily Gazette]