United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. is the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. He is stepping down. (wikimedia)
United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. is the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. He is stepping down. (wikimedia) ()

Western District U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr., will retire Oct. 28 after nearly 30 years at the U.S. Justice Department and six years as one of New York’s top federal prosecutors.

Hochul, 57, said he will pursue unspecified opportunities in the private sector. He is the husband of Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman who has been New York’s lieutenant governor since 2015.

In a statement Wednesday, Hochul said “it has been a great privilege to be able to achieve justice” for the victims of crime.

He was nominated by President Barack Obama as U.S. attorney for the 17-county western New York district in 2009 and confirmed the following year by the U.S. Senate. A Buffalo native, Hochul became an assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District in 1991 after serving four years in the same capacity in the District of Columbia.

As among his most significant accomplishments, Hochul cited his prosecution of the “Lackawanna Six,” a group of six Yemeni-Americans living outside Buffalo who were convicted in 2003 of providing material support to al Qaida after they attended an al Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in 2001.

Hochul also highlighted his office’s focus on prosecuting street and motorcycle gangs for crimes including murder and drug-dealing.

On the civil litigation side, he cited a $25 million judgment against the Tonawanda Coke Corporation for its release over decades of harmful chemicals as among his more meaningful cases.

Hochul is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.