U.S. Attorney William Killian stopped by the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland’s Thursday luncheon to give members a better idea of his position and duties.
A small graph explained how the U.S. Attorney Office fits into the executive branch’s structure. The office comes after the president of the United States, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general.
“We enforce all of the laws. We prosecute all of the federal cases, whether they are made by a federal agency or a state or local agency,” Killian said. “We deal with the sheriff’s departments, the police departments, state TBI, the drug task force and others.”
Within Tennessee there are four locations with federal judges and courts: Winchester, Greeneville, Nashville and Knoxville.
Killian currently has 41 assistants to help with the district demands. Eight of these assistants are in the civil division. He explained there are a number of district priorities from civil rights to financial fraud. Almost 100 employees work to meet the needs.
These needs are seen in a variety of areas. For example, the criminal division task forces and programs target gangs, environmental crimes, identify theft and safe policies among many others.
This division also keeps close tabs on the Serious Offenders List. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies use the list to monitor convicted criminals.
Quipped Killian, “It seems to me, if you make that list you are also meeting the other definition of that acronym.”
A total of 936 defendant cases were terminated last year.
“We like to think we are making some pretty good decisions on which federal cases to prosecute,” Killian explained. “We are not wasting your tax money, nor should we.”
According to Killian, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collects more money for the country than it spends.
Reports showed about $4.75 million is collected on average per year in forfeitures from criminal suits. An additional $7.6 million is taken in annually for criminal restitutions from fines.
Killian revealed the nationwide budget for U.S. attorneys is $1.9 billion. He further explained the amount of money collected through cases was over $13 billion last year.
“We don’t keep the money,” Killian said. “The money goes back into the Medicare trust fund, if it was health care funding, or it goes back into the nation’s general fund.”
He assured the gathered Kiwanians the U.S. attorneys and law enforcement agencies are working diligently to keep Americans safe.
“The Pledge of Allegiance is something we sometimes forget because we say it too much. It becomes numb and we don’t think about it because we have memorized it,” Killian said. “But, I would point out something we take very seriously, and that is the last phrase of that pledge: ‘with liberty and justice for all.’
“That mindset has not changed, and as long as we are the United States of America, it will not change.”