Leahy Commends U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin For Years Of Service To Vermont

Coffin To Depart Next Month

WASHINGTON (Friday, December 19, 2014) – U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin on Friday announced that he will be leaving his position next month after serving as Vermont’s top federal prosecutor since 2009.  U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised Coffin for his years of service, and he committed to working quickly to find a highly qualified nominee to serve as Vermont’s next U.S. Attorney.

“Tris Coffin is a tough and fair prosecutor, and has been an effective law enforcement leader in Vermont.  I join my fellow Vermonters in thanking him for his service.  Tris has demonstrated thoughtful leadership in partnering with state and local law enforcement and Vermont communities on a range of issues, including efforts to confront the crisis of heroin and opioid addiction.  I commend Tris for his years of service to our state and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Leahy, who currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Coffin was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August 2009 to be Vermont’s 36th United States Attorney.  In September 2010, he convened an important symposium in the Statehouse in Montpelier to discuss the problem of opiate drug abuse.  Both Leahy and Attorney General Holder participated in that symposium, and Leahy this year invited Coffin to deliver testimony at a Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rutland looking at community solutions to the opioid crisis.  At that hearing, Coffin described his partnership working with Vermont schools to raise awareness and focus on prevention.

Before serving as U.S. Attorney, Coffin worked in private practice in Burlington with the firm of Paul Frank & Collins, P.C.  He previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Vermont district’s criminal division from 1998 to 2006 and in the civil division from 1994 until 1998.  Coffin also worked as a staff attorney for Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1991 to 1994.  He earned his law degree from Columbia University and his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. 

Leahy, a former prosecutor himself, recommended Coffin for the U.S. Attorney position at the beginning of the Obama administration in 2009.  Leahy, the most senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee that considers these nominations, said on Friday that he will work with the Vermont delegation and the President to recommend a nominee to be Vermont’s next U.S. Attorney.

“It is critical that our state have a Senate-confirmed U.S. attorney, and I will work Senator Sanders, Congressman Welch and others to ensure that Vermont will have another highly qualified person serving in this critical law enforcement position,” Leahy said.


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