Margaret Chiara

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Margaret Chiara
Margaret Chiara.jpg
United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan
In office
October 23, 2001 – March 16, 2007
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byMichael H. Dettmer
Succeeded byRussell Stoddard (interim)
Personal details
Born1943 (age 79–80)
Brooklyn, New York
Political partyRepublican
Alma materFordham University
Pace University
Rutgers Law School

Margaret M. Chiara is most notable for serving as United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. A Republican, she served from 2001 until she was dismissed in the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy on March 16, 2007.[1] She had been Michigan's first female U.S. attorney[2][3]

Early career[edit]

Chiara received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University, a Master's degree from Pace University and her J.D. from Rutgers University Law School. For twelve years she was a teacher and educational administrator, with a masters in administration from Pace University and an undergraduate degree is from Fordham University. Her interest in education law and school finance reform led to Rutgers Law School. Chiara was an associate with French and Lawrence, a private law firm, in Cassopolis, Michigan from 1979 to 1982. Subsequently, she was twice elected Cass County Prosecutor, and was the first woman elected to serve as president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM). From 1987 to 1998, she was Administrator of the Trial Court Assessment Commission. Then in 1999, Ms. Chiara joined the staff of the Office of the Chief Justice at the Michigan Supreme Court as the Policy and Planning Director.[4]

Career as U.S. Attorney and dismissal[edit]

Ms. Chiara was nominated to the position of United States Attorney on September 4, 2001, by President George W. Bush to succeed Michael Dettmer.[5] Chiara was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on October 23, 2001. On March 23, 2007, the New York Times reported that Chiara was told by a senior Justice Department official that she was being removed to make way for a new attorney that the Bush administration wanted to groom. "To say it was about politics may not be pleasant, but at least it is truthful," Chiara said. "Poor performance was not a truthful explanation."[6]

AP reported that during her tenure, "the jurisdiction has seen a 15 percent increase in felony prosecutions and convictions. She developed an attorney training and mentoring program that now serves as a national model, her office said."[2]


  1. ^ "United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan". Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Michigan U.S. attorney announces resignation". AP. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007.
  3. ^ [1] | FEB. 24, 2007 | Eighth U.S. Attorney Dismissed From Post | DAVID JOHNSTON | [2]
  4. ^ Fleischer, Ari (August 3, 2001). "President Bush to Nominate One Individual to Serve in His Administration and Six Individuals to Serve as United States Attorneys" (Press release). White House Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Kolker, Ken (October 5, 2008). "U.S. attorney's office ran for 12 seasons on drama of ambitions, strife, rumors". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  6. ^ Lipton, Eric (March 23, 2007). "U.S. Attorney in Michigan Disputes Reason for Removal". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-23.

External links[edit]