With over three decades of service in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, G. Norman Acker, III will begin serving as first-in-command in the Office. He is filling in the top position in the Office upon the departure of U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., who is one of the remaining 55 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys who has been requested to step down in line with the transition between administrations. Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson previously delivered the request of President-elect Joe Biden on February 9, 2021, to which U.S. Attorney Higdon responded by tendering his letter of resignation, which will take effect on February 27, 2021. Norman Acker III will subsequently begin his term of incumbency on March 1, 2021, pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The appointment of U.S. Attorney Acker shall remain effective for the succeeding 300 days or until a new U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been appointed by the Biden Administration.
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The Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina undergoes changes in the highest position in the Office, along with several other United States Attorney’s Office across the nation. First Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker, III has been named as the interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Eastern District of North Carolina, filling in the position of the outgoing U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., who is departing the Office on February 27, 2021. Fifty-four other Top Federal Prosecutors throughout the United States have been requested to step down by President-elect Joe Biden – a request that has been delivered by Acting U.S. Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson on February 9, 2021, as a part of the tradition during the transition period into a new administration. G. Norman Acker is expected to begin serving as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina on March 1, 2021, pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Moreover, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Acker shall remain in the position as interim Chief Federal Prosecutor for the Eastern District of North Carolina until a successor has been appointed and confirmed by the Biden Administration.
Educational Background and Bar Admission
The Acting United States Attorney Norman Acker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1981. He also took up law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1985. After graduating from law school, U.S. Attorney Acker was granted admission into the State Bar of Carolina in 1985.
Prior to serving in the government sector, U.S. Attorney Acker first launched his legal career in private practice. He served as an attorney responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases in several practice areas, including general business law, planning, and real estate. He served in the law firm for about five years, from 1985 to 1990. In July later that year, U.S. Attorney Acker became a part of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He was primarily appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney. He performed duties in the position to focus on handling litigations that targeted individuals and business corporations who have committed fraud against the United States. Acting U.S. Attorney Norman Acker, III has dedicated more than two decades of his legal career to serving in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Throughout the 25 years of managing criminal and civil litigations, U.S. Attorney Acker developed expertise and acquired valuable knowledge in civil prosecutions of white-collar and healthcare fraud cases. He has also extended his experience in civil litigations to handling cases involving bankruptcy, civil commitment, civil forfeiture, commercial litigation, debt collection, environment litigation defense, employment discrimination defense, medical malpractice, and tort defense. On top of his duties as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Norman Acker was also given numerous opportunities to serve in a leadership position in the Office. He was once the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator and the Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In those capacities, U.S. Attorney Acker was made in charge of managing the cases that involved contract fraud against the military, among other fraud cases against the government, and litigations of health care fraud against the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
During his tenure in the Office, which comprises almost 31 years and commitment to serving the district, Acting U.S. Attorney Acker has held several supervisory roles, including being the Deputy Chief of the Civil Division, and later on, as the Chief of the Civil Division. These positions required him to mentor and supervised the junior Assistant U.S. Attorneys under his division. Top Federal Prosecutor Acker served as Deputy Chief of the Civil Division for about 16 years, prior to being appointed as Chief of the Civil Division in January of 2016. As Chief, he continued to manage a wide variety of civil litigations in Federal Court until April of 2018. Also included in his list of legal experiences, U.S. Attorney Acker was previously the Professional Responsibility Officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a member of the North Carolina Bar Ethics Committee.
Practice Areas, Prosecuted Cases, and Awards
The Acting United States Attorney Norman Acker has demonstrated effective and efficient skills in the prosecution of cases. He has handled a significant number of large criminal fraud matters, which necessitated the knowledge in the prosecution of both civil and criminal litigations, including being designated as the lead attorney in a two-month-long trial in a case of Medicare fraud against the Tuomey Hospital that resulted in a judgment for $237 million. U.S. Attorney Acker has also litigated a large number of civil and criminal cases, both in the United States District Court and in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Being an outstanding and exemplary prosecutor in his field, Acting U.S. Attorney Norman Acker is greatly appreciated and highly distinguished. He has received numerous awards and was once a recipient of the Commander’s Award for Public Service, which is the United States Army’s highest civilian medal that has been awarded to him in appreciation and recognition of his service, particularly in the case involving the settlement of over several million dollars. U.S. Attorney Acker has been awarded the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Integrity Award in honor of his work in the criminal prosecution, which resulted in a civil settlement of over $23 million.
Statement Upon Appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney
Norman Acker, III was appointed as the First Assistant United States Attorney to former U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. in April of 2018, wherein he served as second-in-command in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, responsible for supervising the Criminal, Civil, Appellate, and Administrative Divisions of the Office. He remained in the position for approximately three years until March 2021, when he was tapped to be the interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Eastern District of North Carolina, replacing the outgoing U.S. Attorney Higdon. Upon his appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney, Norman Acker expressed his appreciation for being given the opportunity to represent the people of the United States in Federal Court and has also asserted that he will maintain and further improve the close relation of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina with the rest of the partner law enforcement agencies.
“It is an honor and a privilege to represent the people of the United States in Federal Court. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has worked closely with Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies over the past several years to protect the citizens of the Eastern District of North Carolina, and I pledge to do my best to continue this important work,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Acker.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has jurisdiction over the 44 easternmost counties of North Carolina as Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the district, and Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III is required to lead the Office, which consists of a staff of 125 employees, including 58 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 67 support personnel, along with 44 Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the branches of the U.S. Military, the local District Attorney’s Offices, and the federal and state regulatory agencies that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has partnered with. In addition, Acting United States Attorney shall manage and supervise the prosecution of all the federal crimes within the district, including those cases involving child exploitation, human trafficking, illegal firearms, narcotics, public corruption, and terrorism, in which the United States is a party. The Office of the United States Attorney is also in charge of defending the United States in civil cases, as well as collecting debts owed to the United States.
Full Name: G. Norman Acker, III
District/State: Eastern District of the North Carolina
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Office of the United States Attorney
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Updated: April 20, 2021
Michael F. Easley, Jr. is the next State’s Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Find his biography here.
Updated: August 2, 2022