St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann appointed Joseph McCulloch as the county's Prosecuting Attorney on Wednesday, following Tim Lohmar's resignation last month.
McCulloch is the brother of the former St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch. He began his career in St. Louis as a police officer. McCulloch served as a patrolman, detective sergeant, homicide investigator, and acting commander. He earned his law degree at Saint Louis University, while also working as a St. Louis police officer. In 2000, he became an assistant prosecuting lawyer in St. Charles County.
McCulloch began his own law practice in 2002. He specializes in criminal defense, family law and personal injury, according to Ehlmann’s office. McCulloch has also worked as a legal advisor for several police agencies and represented officers and commanding officers in internal investigations. McCulloch was also a municipal court judge and judicial trainer, according to the office, and served as a board member of St. Charles County Convention and Sports Facilities Authority.
McCulloch was also mentioned in the county's statement.
McCulloch, who was a Democrat on the St. Charles County Council at the time, re-aligned himself after the Democratic Party shifted away from its support of police officers and working people. "That alignment was cemented when Democrats supported the defunding of police."
The St. Charles County Council must approve the appointment; they will discuss it Monday evening.
Ehlmann stated in a statement from his office that McCulloch is "an experienced trial lawyer with a wide range of criminal law experience, ranging anywhere from traffic violations to homicide."
Ehlmann stated that "His conservative background and law-and order background make him an ideal candidate for the Prosecuting attorney."
Lohmar was re-elected for a third four-year term, in November 2022. He cited successes including the creation of a Special Victim's Unit and working with the Criminal Interdiction Task Force. A 'zero tolerance approach' towards violent crime, which included a high bond and mandatory prison sentences for gun crimes, as well as solving cold cases, such as the murder of Angie Houseman, as well as relationships and hiring of "excellent lawyers and staff."
His tenure was not without controversy.
In 2019, O'Fallon Police Department requested that the Missouri Attorney General investigate Lohmar over allegations of harassment against his ex-girlfriend St. Charles County judge Erin Burlison. Lohmar, Burlison and the Missouri attorney general then released public statements. Lohmar wasn't charged with any crime.
In July 2022, the Miller County Police in Missouri arrested Lohmar for suspicion of DWI.