Former trustee Lutzko nominated for top federal prosecutor seat

By Chris Studor

Former Hinckley Trustee Becky Lutzko has been nominated by President Joseph Biden for the top prosecutor’s job in northern Ohio.

Lutzko was sworn on June 9, 2023, as the interim United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and once her nomination is approved by the Senate, she will oversee the prosecution of federal crimes in the state’s northernmost 40 counties, with a population of nearly 6 million residents.

It is uncertain whether the Senate confirmation will take place prior to the Senate’s recess in August.

Lutzko served a two-year term as trustee from 2018 to 2020 and has worked as a federal prosecutor since 2005. During that time, she handled a number of high-profile cases and helped prosecute an Akron physician for distributing painkillers to patients for no medical purpose. She also helped prosecute a thriving “pill mill,” which distributed narcotic pills to people in all 50 states.

Sen. Sherrod Brown applauded the nomination, stating that Lutsko is an “outstanding nominee for the position.” Brown said Lutzko puts the public’s interest first and brings a wealth of knowledge to serve the northern district of Ohio.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland has gone without a Senate-confirmed leader for the longest stretch in its 166-year history. The last to serve in that position was Justin Herdman, who resigned in 2021 shortly after former President Donald Trump left office.

In Nov. of 2021, Biden nominated Marisa Darden, a former assistant U.S. attorney, who was confirmed by the Senate. However, Darden resigned without ever serving in office, stating she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Lutzko received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Boston University in 1993 and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1997. After graduating from law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge Alice M. Batchelder in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 to 2005, she served as an associate at the law firm of Baker-Hostetler in Cleveland.

Since 2005, Lutzko served as an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. During this time she served as deputy chief of the Major Fraud and Corruption Unit and since 2017, she has served as the chief of the Appeals Unit. ∞