ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The United States attorney in charge of prosecuting federal cases in nearly three dozen upstate New York counties is stepping down.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albany says Thursday that Richard Hartunian (har-TOO'-nee-in) will retire effective July 1 after more than seven years overseeing the Northern District of New York and two decades with the Department of Justice.

Hartunian, a former Albany County prosecutor, plans to enter private practice.

As the chief federal prosecutor for the Northern District based in Albany, Hartunian oversaw federal cases in a 32-county area stretching from the Mid-Hudson Valley to the Syracuse area and the Canadian border in northern New York. The district also has offices in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Plattsburgh.