Steve Dettelbach has spent his career working to make our families safer and to hold the powerful accountable.
As a prosecutor for more than two decades, Steve never lost a federal criminal trial. He worked with law enforcement to prosecute terrorists, drug dealers, corrupt politicians, polluters, and corporations that preyed on Ohio consumers. At the Department of Justice, Steve led one of the nation’s largest crackdowns on human trafficking and stood up for the rights of every person.
A husband, father, and native Clevelander, Steve is running for Attorney General to put his experience as a career prosecutor to work for the people of Ohio.
As U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and a federal prosecutor, Steve worked side-by-side with law enforcement to make Ohio safer, to hold the powerful accountable, and to protect the rights of every person.
Over a 25-year legal career, Steve has:
Fought to Make Ohio Safer
- Worked with the FBI and local law enforcement to fight terrorism. Steve oversaw the successful investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases involving ISIS, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda recruits. Steve even worked with the FBI to run the operation that stopped a homegrown plot to blow up a busy Ohio bridge.
- Innovated to fight the scourge of opioids. As U.S. Attorney, Steve oversaw prosecutions of large-scale drug cases with links to the Mexican cartels. As someone who has prosecuted many drug dealers, Steve knows that law enforcement didn’t cause the opioid epidemic and that it is not fair to ask them to stop it alone. That is why he helped develop an opioid task force focusing on treatment and prevention, which has become a national model.
- Put sex traffickers and child pornographers in jail. As U.S. Attorney, Steve oversaw prosecution of many human trafficking cases and child exploitation cases. Earlier in his career, Steve personally prosecuted the first major human trafficking case in recent U.S. history, ending the exploitation of more than 70 Thai workers held as modern-day slaves in a California sweatshop.
- Worked with law enforcement and businesses to fight cybercrime. Steve worked with the FBI and some of Ohio’s largest employers to form the Northern Ohio Cyber Security Consortium. He partnered with universities, hospitals, and manufacturers to form an innovative partnership to protect consumers’ and patients’ private information, and to train new Ohio-based cyber-security experts.
Held the powerful accountable
- Enforced a zero tolerance policy for public corruption. Steve has prosecuted corrupt judges, police, and elected officials in both parties. He personally prosecuted one of the largest municipal corruption cases in U.S. history, resulting in convictions in several cities, including a sitting mayor, councilman, and their so-called “bag man.”
- Protected consumers from predatory corporations. As U.S. Attorney, Steve personally supervised investigations of large corporations that preyed on consumers or defrauded the government. Those cases included two against a large pharmaceutical company that paid more than $150 million in fines, and a large bank that was fined $200 million for its unlawful loan practices leading up to the foreclosure crisis.
- Took on polluters who harmed our clean water. Steve prosecuted the owner of a Youngstown-based company who ordered his employees to illegally dump chemical waste into the Mahoning River. The owner was sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Protected the Rights of Every Person
- Led the effort to reform and improve police-community relations. Partnering with Mayor Frank Jackson, police, and community leaders, Steve negotiated and helped implement a landmark agreement to improve the Cleveland Division of Police. These reforms allowed the City to give officers new equipment and training, and to hire new officers, and helped to start healing divisions between the police and community.
- Stood up for civil rights and prosecuted hate crimes. Steve is nationally recognized as a prosecutor who fights for civil rights. His office took a firm stance against hate crimes, prosecuting several high-profile violent crimes motivated by religion or race. Appointed by the United States Attorney General, Steve also served as Chairman of the committee that advises the Attorney General on civil rights issues.
Steve has the experience to lead the Attorney General’s office starting on day one.
As U.S. Attorney, Steve oversaw a District serving 6 million people across 40 counties. He ran an office with nearly a $20 million budget, adapting to significant budget cuts by finding efficiencies and doing more with less. During his tenure, Steve’s office recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse for taxpayers from criminals and corrupt corporations—enough to fund the entire office many times over.
Steve also brings private-sector experience to the job. As a partner at one of Ohio’s oldest and largest law firms, he has represented many Ohio employers, and understands firsthand that when there is a fair and level playing field, good businesses thrive.