By: States Attorney.
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Randolph J. Bernard
Effective March 1, 2021, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard will officially serve as the interim Top Federal Prosecutor of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, replacing the outgoing U.S. Attorney Bill Powell by virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. In accordance with the request of President-elect Joe Biden, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell has recently tendered his letter of resignation, which shall take effect on February 28, 2021. Departing Chief Law Enforcement Official Powell is among the 55 Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys who have been instructed by Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson during an all-U.S. Attorney last February 9, 2021, to vacate the highest position in their respective Offices in order to allow for the efficient nomination and confirmation of new U.S. Attorneys across the United States. Randy J. Bernard will remain seated as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia for a maximum period of 300 days, or until a permanent U.S. Attorney has been appointed under the Biden Administration
Table of Contents
- Educational Background
- Legal Career – Private Practice
- Legal Career – Government Service
- Statement from Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard
- Office Jurisdiction
- Contact Details of Attorney Bernard
- Wheeling Main Office
- Clarksburg Branch Office
- Elkins Branch Office
- Martinsburg Branch Office
- Press inquiries
- Social Media Profiles of Randolph Bernard
Randolph J. Bernard has been named as the interim replacement for the outgoing U.S. Attorney Bill Powell. By virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard will serve in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia as Acting U.S. Attorney, filling in the highest position in the Office U.S. Attorney Powell vacates it. The departure of U.S. Attorney Bill Powell from the Office is in line with the tradition in the Department of Justice, where the newly elected president requests the formerly presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorneys to step down from their posts and allow the nomination and appointment of new Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officials for the 94 districts in the United States. On February 9, 2021, Acting U.S. Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson carried out the task of instructing the remaining 55 Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their letters of resignation to President-elect Joe Biden on or before the end of February. In contrast, most of the Acting U.S. Attorneys appointed within this transition term will begin serving as interim Top Federal Prosecutors for their respective districts on March 1, 2021. As such, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard will take a seat in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia as its interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official beginning on March 1 and lasting for up to 300 days or until a permanent U.S. Attorney has been nominated and confirmed by President Joe Biden and the Senate, respectively.
Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard took up English Pre-Law at Indiana University and graduated in 1984. He then attended the Ohio Northern University College of Law, from where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1987.
Legal Career – Private Practice
In February of 1987, U.S. Attorney Bernard launched his legal career in private practice by joining the Smith & Schnacke as an Associate Attorney. He served in the firm for approximately two years and seven months prior to becoming a Litigation Attorney at the Coolidge, Wall, Womsley & Lombard in August of 1989, where he then spent the next seven years and eight months of his life. Acting U.S. Attorney Bernard dedicated the first decade of his legal career to serving in private practice in Dayton, Ohio.
Legal Career – Government Service
Migrating to West Virginia from Ohio, U.S. Attorney Bernard shifted from private practice to government service. He began working as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Wheeling, West Virginia Resident Agency, serving in the capacity for five years and five months, from March of 1997 to July of 2002. Following his service in the FBI, Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard became a part of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, focusing on the prosecution of federal crimes. In November of 2010, U.S. Attorney Bernard was appointed as the Deputy Criminal Chief of the Office. Four years later, in September of 2014, he was promoted to being the Chief of the Criminal Division, where he managed and supervised all of the federal criminal prosecutions handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. Throughout the early years of his career in the Office, U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard developed expertise in prosecuting a wide range of criminal cases, including those that involve child pornography, drugs, firearms, fraud, tax cases, white-collar offenses, and violent crimes.
In December of 2017, U.S. Attorney Bernard was named First Assistant U.S. Attorney to former U.S. Attorney Bill Powell. For nearly four years, Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard has served in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia as second-in-command. In this capacity, he was made in charge of overseeing the daily operations of the Office’s criminal, civil, and administrative divisions. Moreover, U.S. Attorney Bernard has also previously served as the District Office Security Manager.
Statement from Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard
Upon his appointment as interim Top Federal Prosecutor for the Northern District of West Virginia, U.S. Attorney Bernard asserted that under his term, the Office of the U.S. Attorney would honor and continue the excellent work that former U.S. Attorney Powell has brought about during his term, particularly his “One District, One Mission” motto. On top of that, he claimed that the U.S. Attorney’s Office would carry on with their efforts of combating the drug epidemic, along with crimes against children and the elderly and violent crimes. Moreover, U.S. Attorney Bernard claims the Office will keep up the other initiatives of the Department of Justice.
“We look forward to continuing Mr. Powell’s excellent work under his “One District, One Mission” motto, as we work to combat the drug epidemic, crimes against children, crimes against the elderly, combatting violent crime, and the other Department of Justice initiatives,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard.
Interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official Randolph J. Bernard serves as first-in-command in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing and managing approximately 51 employees, consisting of 23 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 28 support personnel. They are divided amongst the four staffed Offices. The four branches of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia are located in Clarksburg, Elkins, Martinsburg, and Wheeling districts. Furthermore, the Office of the United States Attorney shall prosecute all of the federal crimes occurring within the jurisdiction of the district, as well as defend the federal government and represent the United States in lawsuits and affirmative civil actions. The Office shall also collect debts owed to the United States.
Contact Details of Attorney Bernard
Full Name: Randolph J. Bernard
District/State: Northern District of West Virginia
Wheeling Main Office
U. S. Courthouse & Federal Building
1125 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
Fax – Criminal Division
Fax – Civil Division
Clarksburg Branch Office
Clarksburg Federal Building
320 W. Pike Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Elkins Branch Office
300 Third Street
Elkins, WV 26241
Martinsburg Branch Office
U.S. Courthouse & Post Office
217 W. King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Public Affairs Specialist
Social Media Profiles of Randolph Bernard
Username: Randy Bernard
Updated: August 30, 2021
William J. Ihlenfeld, II is the next State’s Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. His biography can be found here.
Updated: March 15, 2022