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New head prosecutor hopes to keep his hand in

The newly sworn U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia says he hopes to still handle a few cases, despite his administrative role as the top federal lawyer west of the Blue Ridge.

Meeting with reporters today, Tim Heaphy said he hopes his management responsibilities won’t keep him out of the courtroom entirely.  “To some extent, I will have investigations periodically and trials periodically that I will do myself,” he said, adding he will rely on his staff to rein him in.

Heaphy said he plans to try to improve working relationships with local law enforcement officials.  He indicated he would meet with Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Caldwell, who had previously accused federal law enforcement officials of “cherry picking” easy or high-profile cases for federal prosecution.

Heaphy said he also hopes to expand the role of the U.S. Attorney in crime prevention activities.

Heaphy will continue to live in Charlottesville with his family, traveling to the U.S. Attorney’s main office in Roanoke for two to three days a week, he said.

By Peter Vieth

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