First black U.S. Attorney for Central Illinois on the job


DAVENPORT, IA (WCIA) — With a raise of his hand and a few words this week, the new top federal prosecutor for Central Illinois made history.

Gregory K. Harris was sworn in Monday as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, becoming the first Black person to hold that post. The swearing-in happened at the Davenport, Iowa, federal courthouse because the Rock Island, Illinois, courthouse is closed due to construction on a new courthouse.

President Joe Biden nominated Harris on October 27, and the Senate confirmed him on December 7.

“It is an honor to serve as the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois,” Harris said in a news release. “This office has a long history of excellence and integrity and has demonstrated its strong commitment to community safety. I look forward to leading this group of talented and dedicated attorneys and support staff. We will continue to partner with law enforcement to address current and future challenges in the Central District and to pursue equal justice under the law. I also look forward to working closely with defense counsel and the court. I am eager to get to work.”

Harris has had two stints as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District, most recently since 2001. He got his J.D. from the school now known as the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (formerly known as The John Marshall Law School).

Harris replaces John C. Milhiser as the next permanent U.S. Attorney for the Central District. Milhiser was one of several Trump-era U.S. Attorneys to leave when Joe Biden took office.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.