New FBI Cincinnati boss inherits Dayton corruption and shooting cases

FBI Special Agent in Charge William “Chris” Hoffman
FBI Special Agent in Charge William “Chris” Hoffman

FBI Special Agent in Charge William “Chris” Hoffman turns 55 on May 5, which means he has a little more than two years to lead the FBI Cincinnati Field Office before he’ll face mandatory retirement at age 57.

Hoffman, who was appointed in January to the post, inherited a long-standing investigation into public corruption in Dayton area politics and an investigation into the Aug. 4 Oregon District shooting.

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Hoffman is tight-lipped about what’s happening with both those investigations and when the next phases may become public, saying only “stay tuned.”

The federal case against Ethan Kollie could be resolved on Feb. 20 when the man accused of helping Connor Betts hide a weapon and body armor he used in the shooting is due back in court for sentencing.

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The Cincinnati field office covers the 44 counties in the southern district of Ohio, which includes Dayton and Columbus. The bureau is focused on terrorists, spies, child abusers, violent gangs, bank robbers and corrupt public officials, he said.

Hoffman said he has four cornerstones to live: faith, family, FBI and fraternity. Hoffman, who quotes Mother Teresa and St. Augustine in the course of his introductory speech, said he often begins his day with Catholic mass. He and his wife have two adult sons.

Hoffman’s FBI career began after he enlisted in the Marines and worked a decade as a cop in Greenville, S.C. With an accounting degree from Clemson University, Hoffman joined the FBI in 1998 and began his career at a small office in the Choctaw Nation of the Oklahoma City Field Office where he worked on violent crimes, crimes against children and public corruption cases.

Hoffman also did stints for the FBI in Guam, Birmingham, Alabama, Iraq, Memphis and FBI headquarters. He said prior to the Cincinnati job, he had been to Ohio just once — on a shooting case in Youngstown.

Hoffman replaces Todd Wickerham who left the FBI Cincinnati office for a job with OhioHealth.