André Birotte Jr.
Paul Wellman

The head of the country’s largest federal prosecution department outside of Washington, D.C., stopped by Santa Barbara on Tuesday afternoon to chat candidly with reporters, editors, and bloggers about the role of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, which extends from Orange County to San Luis Obispo County.

Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, André Birotte Jr. — who spoke off the record at the Santa Barbara Club in an event organized by The Independent — oversees a staff of about 270 attorneys, and they are in charge of tracking and prosecuting federal offenses that range from gang racketeering and tax fraud to national security, environmental crimes, and computer hacking. Under his watch, the office has also taken a greater interest in attacking public corruption and fighting for civil rights. The visit was part of a public outreach campaign throughout the region that Birotte is spearheading to show that he represents the entire district — not just Los Angeles, where a bulk of the office’s work has been focused over the decades — in hope of building alliances that actually prevent crime before it happens.


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