WHEELING – West Virginia State Senator Bill Ihlenfeld could return to his old job.
President Joe Biden has appointed Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio, as the United States attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. He previously held this position from August 2010 to December 2016.
Since 2018, he has served as a member of the West Virginia Senate, defeating incumbent Ryan Ferns to take the seat.
In a statement posted to Twitter Tuesday night, Ihlenfeld said. âI am honored to have been appointed by President Biden to the post of United States Attorney General. If confirmed, it will be an honor to join a formidable team of career public servants dedicated to the protection of the public.
Senatorial Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin D-Greenbrier said in a statement Tuesday evening that Ihlenfeld would continue to serve in the state Senate during his confirmation process in the United States Senate, which will likely take several months.
Baldwin said serving with Ihlenfeld was a “Distinctive honor”.
“Bill brings a sharp wit, a loving heart and a tenacious work ethic to take on whatever task awaits him.” Baldwin said. “While we are sad to lose him as a member of the West Virginia Senate, our loss is a gain for the State of West Virginia and the American people.”
Baldwin added that during Ihlenfeld’s time in Charleston he was a strong supporter of law enforcement, advocating for additional protection for the state’s children, and defending common sense protections like a resident’s right. of West Virginia to receive the Internet speed for which they pay.
“I have no doubts that he will be as tenacious in law enforcement and in the pursuit of justice as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia,” said Baldwin.
During his first tenure as a U.S. prosecutor, Ihlenfield focused on drug-related crimes, disrupting out-of-state trafficking networks, prosecuting traffickers and prosecuting doctors and pharmacists involved in the inappropriate prescription of pain relievers.
He has also tackled white collar crimes and has conducted several civil rights investigations.
“The appointment of Bill by President Biden is not surprising in light of his exemplary performance as a US prosecutor,” State Senate Minority Whip Mike Woeffel D-Cabell said. âBill’s wit and intelligence will be lacking in the State Senate.
West Virginia senators serve four-year terms, so Ihlenfeld, a Wheeling Democrat, would have been re-elected in 2022. Republicans currently hold 23 of the state’s 34 seats.
Randolph J. Bernard is the current Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, following the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Bill Powell in February.