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New U.S. attorney replaces county native

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CHARLOTTE — R. Andrew Murray was sworn in Monday as United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

After President Donald Trump nominated him on Sept. 11, Murray was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on Nov. 9. Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney administered the oath of office. Murray replaces Jill Westmoreland Rose, a Hendersonville native and graduate of West Henderson High School.

“It is an honor to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina,” Murray said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has an important mission: to enforce our nation’s federal laws and to protect the citizens of this district. It is a privilege to lead such a talented group of public servants dedicated to the pursuit of justice, and I look forward to working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners on our shared commitment to serve and protect all communities throughout the Western District.”

As the top federal law enforcement officer in the district, U.S. Attorney Murray will now lead one of the busiest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country, currently employing approximately 80 federal prosecutors and staff, located in Charlotte and in Asheville. The office serves nearly three million residents throughout the 32 westernmost counties of the state of North Carolina, including residents of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian reservation.

As a senior attorney practicing law in Mecklenburg County since 1992, Murray has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience in leadership and criminal law. Prior to becoming the United States Attorney, Murray served as the elected District Attorney of North Carolina’s 26th Prosecutorial District, which covers all of Mecklenburg County. He is also a retired United States Coast Guardsman.

Murray began his law career in 1992 at the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, where he served for three years as an Assistant District Attorney, working on several special prosecution teams. Mr. Murray went on to practice law in the private sector, as criminal defense attorney and later as managing partner of a law firm focusing on criminal law. Murray’s passion for public service and his desire to give back to the community led him back to the District Attorney’s Office. He was elected as District Attorney in 2010 and was re-elected to the position in 2014. As District Attorney, Mr. Murray focused his efforts on incorporating innovative strategies and forging strong partnerships to ensure the efficient and effective prosecution of state cases in Mecklenburg County.

Murray also serves as a leader in the state and national prosecutorial communities. He served as a member of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys’ executive committee, and from 2015 to 2016 served as the Conference’s president. He was also selected to join the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, a multidisciplinary group tasked with conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the State’s judicial system and making recommendations to strengthen the State’s courts. Murray is also a member of the Board for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ Major County Prosecutors Council, comprised of district attorneys from across the nation working together to tackle challenges faced by prosecutors.

Murray joined the United States Coast Guard in 1980. Following his separation from active service, he continued to serve the United States through the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. After 35 years of combined active and reserve military service, Murray retired from the U.S. Coast Guard as a Captain (O-6).

Following his active duty service, Murray attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned a degree in Political Science in 1989. He received his Juris Doctor in 1992, from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Mecklenburg County Bar.