Complex cyber crime cases don’t draw camera crews, but they were among David Hickton’s main priorities during his tenure as top federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, who is stepping down after six years, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was the first U.S. Attorney in the nation to resign after Donald Trump was elected president. U.S. attorneys don’t have to quit when a president from the other party takes over, but they usually move on within a few months.
U.S. attorneys take direction from Washington as needs shift. They also enjoy a good deal of autonomy, and Hickton, 61, took pride in tackling large-scale issues: Cyber security, narcotics addiction, police-community relations, and health-care fraud. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said he led Justice Department initiatives, including the indictment of five Chinese military hackers for cyber espionage and shutting down the international Darkode hacking forum. He also addressed tension between police and the public, assembling in 2011 a working group of about 50 police and community leaders. A member of the group, University of Pittsburgh law Prof. David Harris, said, “The fact that it was happening at all was a giant step forward.”