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William Ihlenfeld To Be Sworn In as U.S. Attorney Today

William Ihlenfeld

Former State Sen. William Ihlenfeld returns to his former job as federal prosecutor in Wheeling today.

Ihlenfeld, 49, will be sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia at 9 a.m. today in a small ceremony at the West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown. Close family members are scheduled to be by his side.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh, a Wheeling native, will do the honors.

Ihlenfeld explained he had the option of where to be sworn into office. But he selected the WVU campus where his daughters, Sarah and Emma, both are students and could more easily attend. Son Charlie, a senior and student body president at Wheeling Park High School, also will make the ride to Morgantown with his father.

Ihlenfeld previously served as federal prosecutor from Aug. 10, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2016 under the Obama administration. He was appointed again this summer by President Joe Biden.

In between, Ihlenfeld worked for the Bowles-Rice law firm and was elected to the West Virginia Senate.

He resigned his 1st District Senate seat after being confirmed as U.S. Attorney by the U.S. Senate last week.

He intends to return to Wheeling after being sworn in today, and to immediately begin work.

“I’m just excited to get started,” Ihlenfeld said. “Once I am in the office tomorrow, I will be briefed on important matters that are pending. …

“There’s a lot to be done in a number of areas, especially in the areas of substance abuse, domestic terrorism and cybersecurity,” Ihlenfeld said. “There’s a lot of crime in general, but those three areas will be the focus.”

He said he is very happy to be returning as U.S. attorney.

“It’s not often you get to go back to something you enjoyed at a prior time in life,” Ihlenfeld explained. “I am happy to go back to this position. I really did enjoy it. Many I’ve worked with before, and there are some new faces.

“I won’t be able to do it all on the first day… but during the first week, I would like to talk to each of the employees to find out what they think the office should be doing, and ask them how to best utilize their skills. It will be a good way to get a feel for the office — especially people I haven’t met.”

He said he will miss his Senate colleagues and the constituents he represented as senator, but there are things he is glad to leave behind.

“I won’t miss the hyperpartisanship that exists in the Legislature,” he said.

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