FARGO — Longtime North Dakota public servant Drew Wrigley was unanimously confirmed Thursday, April 11, by the U.S. Senate as the new U.S. attorney for the state, a position he previously held for nine years.
The U.S. attorney is the top federal prosecutor in the state and oversees an office of attorneys who prosecute federal crimes and represent the government in civil lawsuits.
Chris Myers is currently the U.S. attorney in North Dakota and has won praise for his service, including national honors for prosecuting an international drug ring that was involved in overdose deaths in the state.
Wrigley was first nominated to replace Myers last August, but had to be renominated by President Donald Trump earlier this year with the new Congress being sworn in.
Wrigley, 53, was born in Bismarck and graduated from Fargo South High School. He then went to the University of North Dakota, graduating with a degree in economics before earning his law degree from American University Washington College of Law.
He served as a prosecutor for the Fargo city attorney for a year and then as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia from 1993 to 1998.
He served as U.S. attorney for North Dakota under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, then as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Jack Dalrymple from 2010 to 2016. In the last few years, he has been working as a senior management adviser on policy matters for Sanford Health in Bismarck.
A highlight of Wrigley's previous tenure as U.S. attorney was his successful prosecution of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a sex offender found guilty of murdering Dru Sjodin. Rodriguez was given the death penalty, and he remains on death row.
Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., announced Wrigley's confirmation late Thursday afternoon.
On the Senate floor before Thursday's confirmation vote, Cramer said Wrigley was a "sincere public servant" and "has a servant's heart."
Cramer said what he liked the most about his "good personal friend" was that he was a "courageous prosecutor."
"He takes the tough cases and if he wins or loses, he fights as hard as he can for the cause of justice and for the victims of crime," Cramer said.
Wrigley said in an interview Thursday night that he was "deeply honored" with his confirmation.
"It's a good situation for me because the work isn't new to me," he said. "I'm ready to reengage and get back into the office."
Wrigley said there's a host of issues facing him and he's looking forward to getting started as soon as possible. He said he could be sworn in as soon as next week.
Wrigley and his wife, Kathleen, have three children.