USC alum named acting US Attorney in South Carolina

Noah Feit
·2 min read

Following the resignation of his former boss, M. Rhett DeHart has been named the acting U.S. Attorney for South Carolina.

As expected, the South Carolina native and USC alum has replaced Peter McCoy, whose resignation was made official at midnight Monday.

Because DeHart was the first assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, he was elevated to the interim position by virtue of the Vacancies Reform Act, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release.

McCoy announced plans to resign from the office in a Feb. 23 letter to President Joe Biden.

Now DeHart will serve in the position of acting U.S. Attorney until a successor is appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

In his resignation letter, McCoy said he would help whoever follows him in the post.

“I have no doubt my successor will accomplish great things with this extraordinary team and I will work tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition,” McCoy said.

While working as the first assistant to McCoy, DeHart supervised the criminal, civil, appellate and administrative divisions of South Carolina, according to the release. DeHart also served as the primary liaison between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Chief U.S. District Judge, it said in the release.

DeHart is a North Augusta native and now lives in Mt. Pleasant, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. He has served in the U.S. Attorney’s Charleston office since 2001, focusing on prosecution of white-collar fraud and child exploitation, according to the release.

The recipient of multiple awards from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies, DeHart has prosecuted hundreds of felonies, authored thirty appellate briefs, tried approximately twenty jury and non-jury trials, and argued seven cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, it said in the release.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, DeHart was a counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he supervised the criminal legislation section, according to the release.

DeHart is a graduate of the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, and graduated Order of the Coif from the USC School of Law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

McCoy’s resignation was in sync with a request from the U.S. Department of Justice main office in Washington to all 90-plus U.S. attorneys across the nation to leave office. U.S. attorneys are political appointments and serve at the pleasure of a president.

Information on who will be nominated by Biden to serve as the long-term U.S. Attorney in South Carolina has not been announced.