Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg has announced the appointment of Tara M. Lyons as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, effective April 9.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyons currently is the Deputy Criminal Chief and an Assistant U.S. Attorney serving in the Southern District’s Augusta Office and a 20-year veteran prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Tara’s ability, drive, and passion to advance the DOJ mission makes her a clear choice for an executive role in this District,” U.S. Attorney Steinberg said. “The office will benefit enormously from her exceptional insight, leadership acumen, and depth and breadth of experience.”
A native of New York, Lyons is a graduate of South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina School of Law. She started her professional career as a law clerk for the Honorable Henry F. Floyd during his service as a South Carolina Circuit Court Judge with the 13th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, followed by more than three years as a public defender in Richland County, S.C. Lyons joined DOJ in 2003, serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of South Carolina before transferring to the Southern District of Georgia as a criminal prosecutor.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen to serve in a greater leadership role with the exceptional team in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Lyons said. “It is a humbling experience to fight for justice on behalf of victims in the courtroom, and I am excited to take on a role that allows higher-level advocacy on behalf of all victims served in our judicial circuit.”
In the Southern District of Georgia, Lyons has served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, and Criminal Civil Rights Coordinator. She served as lead counsel in the first federal hate crimes prosecution in the Southern District of Georgia, United States v. McMichael et al., securing a conviction for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga.
As First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Lyons joins Criminal Division Chief Patricia M. Rhodes and Civil Division Chief Shannon H. Statkus as senior leadership in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Steinberg also announced Karl Knoche will remain in the front office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Attorney. Knoche previously served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Senior Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, and Criminal Division Chief during his 34-year career at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District.