May 29, 2020 — Stephen J. Cox, a 2006 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, Thursday was named acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. His appointment is subject to senate confirmation.
“It’s a great privilege to be appointed — and to have the confidence of Attorney General (William P.) Barr — and I’m excited to serve alongside all the great U.S. attorneys across the country,” Cox said. “Most of all, I’m eager to meet and work with the attorneys and professionals in the Eastern District.”
In making the announcement, Barr said Cox’s “experience in areas ranging from regulatory reform to fraud to corporate compliance, and his reputation for fairness, sound judgment, and management, will serve him well in Eastern Texas.”
Cox will assume his duties on June 1, succeeding Joseph Brown, who announced Tuesday that he would be leaving office at the end of the month without giving a specific explanation for his departure.
Cox currently serves as deputy associate attorney general in Washington, D.C. He previously served as deputy associate attorney general and chief of staff within the department’s Office of the Associate Attorney General. In his role, Cox spearheaded numerous policy reforms relating to corporate enforcement and regulatory reform, as well as overseeing several department matters relating to financial fraud and healthcare fraud. He also served as vice chair of the deputy attorney general’s working group on corporate enforcement and accountability, and as executive director of the department’s regulatory reform task force.
Previously, Cox served on the William H. Webster Commission on the FBI, Counterterrorism, Intelligence, and the Events of Fort Hood, and as a senior advisor to the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Cox also has spent time in private practice, dealing with white collar investigations, ethics and compliance, and regulatory matters.
Cox was born in New Orleans, but moved to Texas when he was 6-years-old. He earned a B.S. degree from Texas A&M.
“I loved my time at UHLC, and a lot of the professors there helped me a great deal in the classroom and beyond,” he said, “faculty like the late Steve Zamora, Robert Ragazzo, Meredith Duncan, Johnny Rex Buckles, Kate Brem, Doug Moll, Michael Olivas, Sidney Buchanan, Tom Newhouse, Jordan Paust, Bill Streng. All of them challenged me and encouraged me at every step of the way.
The eastern district extends north from Beaumont to Texarkana and Sherman. Cox will oversee 55 assistant U.S. Attorneys and 65 support staff, across six offices. He will be responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal offenses and will represent the United States in all civil litigation in the district.