LEXINGTON, Ky.  Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, has announced his resignation, effective Friday, January 13, 2017.  U.S. Attorney Harvey has served in office since May 14, 2010.

“The opportunity to serve as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky has been a distinct honor,” United States Attorney Harvey said today.  “I will be forever grateful for the trust placed in me by President Obama and the opportunity to serve in the Department of Justice during such consequential times.  I am inspired by the tremendous work of the state, local and federal law enforcement communities with which I have served, and I will always treasure the chance to work alongside the exceptional staff of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  We have accomplished a great deal together, and their commitment to the cause of justice will continue.”

“As United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky since 2010, Kerry Harvey has been an indispensable partner in our work to build a stronger and safer nation for all Americans,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “Under Kerry’s leadership, his office has played a crucial role in the Justice Department’s initiatives to prosecute fraud, corruption, and white-collar crime.  And he has been a visionary leader in our work to end the devastating opioid epidemic, joining with state and local authorities to hold accountable those who illegally distribute heroin, prescription drugs, and other substances that ravage our communities.  Kerry’s work with the families of those who have fallen victim to this epidemic has given voice to those who have suffered and helped to steer countless others way from the same path.  His efforts are in the highest traditions of the Department of Justice.  I want to thank Kerry for his tireless efforts on behalf of the American people over the last seven years, and I wish him the very best as he begins the next chapter of his distinguished career.”

Harvey’s efforts include serving on the National Heroin Task Force; serving three years on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a select group appointed by the Attorney General to serve as advisors to the Attorney General and as the voice for all United States Attorneys nationwide; serving as Co-Chairman of the AGAC’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group; establishing the highly successful U.S. Attorney’s Heroin Education Action Team (“USA HEAT”), an initiative to increase public awareness of the opioid epidemic in Kentucky; achieving landmark criminal convictions and civil recoveries for fraudulent healthcare practices; prosecuting significant public corruption cases; and prosecuting large-scale drug trafficking organizations.  Under Harvey’s leadership, his office has become a national leader in federal prosecution of drug-overdose cases.  His time in office has seen significant change – twenty-one of the forty-four Assistant United States Attorneys allocated to the office have been hired under Harvey’s leadership.

Signature achievements under Harvey’s leadership include:

Securing a number of public-corruption convictions against former state and local officials, including Richie Farmer, former Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture; Timothy Longmeyer, former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Personnel Cabinet and former Deputy Attorney General of Kentucky; Timothy Conley, former County Judge -Executive of Morgan County; Keith Hall, former member of the Kentucky House of Representatives; Robert Porter, former Mayor of Paintsville; Arch Turner, former superintendent of the Breathitt County Public Schools, and Tim Fegan, former Director of the Buffalo Trace Narcotics Task Force;

Securing landmark civil recoveries under the False Claims Act against two hospitals – $40.9 million from King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland and $16.5 million from Saint Joseph’s Hospital in London – to settle allegations of unnecessary cardiac procedures; and securing the criminal convictions of Dr. Richard Paulus and Dr. Sandesh Patil for their roles in performing unnecessary cardiac procedures;

Securing a $15.75 million civil recovery against an addiction treatment center (“SelfRefind”), a clinical laboratory (“PremierTox”), and two physician owners to resolve allegations that they fraudulently billed federal healthcare programs for medically unnecessary and excessive urine screens;

Securing a $16 million civil judgment against Nurses’ Registry Home Health Corporation and the estate of its former owner Lennie House, resolving allegations of widespread healthcare fraud;

Collecting more than $182 million on behalf of taxpayers during 2014 alone, an amount that represents the highest annual recovery in the Office’s history and more than twenty times the Office’s annual budget;

Securing criminal convictions of numerous pain clinic owners, pharmacists, doctors, and other health care professionals for the illegal distribution of prescription pain medication and other controlled substances, including pain-clinic owners William Singleton, Joel Shumrack and Michael Leman, pharmacist Charles Terry Tenhet, and Dr. James “Ace” Chaney;

Securing the criminal conviction of Lexington attorney Bryan Coffman and his co-defendant Gary Milby on charges relating to a fraudulent $36-million-dollar oil-and-gas investment scheme;

Developing an Overdose Prosecution Initiative to combat Kentucky’s opioid epidemic.  The Initiative employs significant federal penalties for drug trafficking that results in death or serious bodily injury.  It has resulted in dozens of prosecutions involving overdoses and has become a national model for other U.S. Attorney’s Offices; and

Creating the Office’s Civil Rights Program to prosecute criminal and civil violations of federal civil rights law, including prosecution of the first case in the nation charged under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Act.

As of January 14, 2017, Carlton S. Shier, IV, will assume leadership of the Office as Acting United States Attorney.  Shier has been the First Assistant United States Attorney since April of 2013 and has been with the Department of Justice since 2010.