Local dignitaries from all levels of government were on hand Monday afternoon for an investiture ceremony officially welcoming U.S. Attorney Richard Moore to the Southern District of Alabama.
Appointed by President Donald Trump at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Moore’s position was confirmed by the Senate in September. He takes the place of former U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown, whom Sessions dismissed earlier this year.
Moore has spent the past decade or so as the Inspector General for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee, but he’s no stranger to Mobile. A Spring Hill College graduate, Moore spent 18 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Session’s office in Mobile.
Prior to Monday’s ceremony, Moore told local reporters his investiture “marks the beginning of a new era” for the office, which by all indications, will have policies and priorities that closely mirror Sessions’ broader agenda for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
“[Sessions] has been very clear about wanting to reduce violent crime in America to make the country safer, and we’re following his agenda. We’ll be very aggressive in going after violent criminals to get the worst of the worst off the streets,” Moore said. “We already have more prosecutions of gun cases per capita than any other community our size. Our lawyers are very adept and skilled in doing that particular type of work.”
Aside from several current and former U.S. Attorneys, the ceremony was attended by local law enforcement officials including Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste and District Attorney Ashley Rich — both of whom Moore said he hopes to work closely with in the future.
Delivering Moore’s investiture address was Associate Attorney General Steven H. Cook, who Sessions personally tapped to lead a DOJ initiative addressing violent crime in inner cities across the nation. Former TVA Board Chairman William Sansom also spoke on Moore’s behalf.
Aside from pushing for his presidential appointment, Sessions has also shown trust in Moore by naming him as the chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). In that role, Moore will regularly provide advice and counsel to Sessions on matters of policy and procedure impacting U.S. Attorneys around the country.
In his speech, Moore mentioned that everyone who spoke on his behalf had shown an ability to “put their head down and go to work,” even in the face of adversity. He said Sessions showed a similar resolve after being “grilled” with “inane questions about collusion with Russia” in the early days of his tenure.
“I remember thinking, ‘that’s probably what he wants me to do, too … put my head down and go to work,” Moore added.
In some of his final remarks, Moore praised the staff of attorneys and legal assistants that he inherited with his new position — calling them “some of the very best lawyers in the country.”
“When they stand in this courthouse and say, ‘the United States is ready, your honor,’ I know that it is,” Moore added. “When they say their name and tell the jury they are representing the United States, they understand what a unique privilege that is, but also the burden that comes with it.”