AG-elect Morrisey names key staffers

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 9, 2013

CHARLESTON - State Attorney General-Elect Patrick Morrisey on Wednesday announced the hiring of several key personnel for his office.

He said the appointments, which include some for newly created positions, will allow him to advance his agenda during his first days in office. He will be sworn in Jan. 14.

“Today, I am pleased to announce a highly professional and dedicated team that will serve our state proudly in the Office of Attorney General,” Morrisey said. “West Virginia deserves the best and brightest in government, and these attorneys certainly meet that description.”

Morrisey announced that he is restructuring the Attorney General’s office to create a leadership structure consisting of a Principal Deputy Attorney General, a Solicitor General and a Chief Counsel.

Until that Principal Deputy AG is found, Morrisey will serve in that role as well. Former state AG candidate Dan Greear will serve as Chief Counsel, and Elbert Lin will be the Solicitor General.

"I won't be behind the scenes," Morrisey said Wednesday. "I plan to be right in there, rolling up my sleeves and putting my imprint on matters. Our leadership troika, as I've been calling it, will help me do that.

"I promise I will be a hands-on attorney general. I won't go for months at a time without being seen or heard from. I think everyone will see rather quickly that I'm not going to be a figurehead AG."

Greear is a partner in the Charleston-based law firm of Kesner, Kesner & Bramble and a former candidate for both Attorney General and Kanawha Circuit Judge. He previously served as a member of the House of Delegates.

In 2008, he came within a few thousand votes of defeating longtime Attorney General Darrell McGraw.

Lin currently is a partner at the Washington, D.C., firm of Wiley Rein, and has a national reputation as a constitutional and appellate advocate, Morrisey says.

Lin previously has clerked for both U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Judge William H. Pryor. A graduate of Yale Law School, Lin will advance Morrisey's "agenda of tackling federal overreach and establishing a nationally respected Appellate Division."

Morrisey named Marty Wright as Deputy AG and Public Integrity Officer to oversee ethics reforms and to collaborate with county prosecutors on public integrity prosecutions. Wright currently serves as the Deputy General Counsel of the West Virginia Ethics Commission.

Richie Heath also will be a Deputy AG, focusing on regulatory and policy matters regarding the state’s business climate. He currently is the Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Tracy Webb will be a Deputy AG responsible for various agency billable matters handled by AG's office. She has served as legal counsel to the West Virginia Housing Development Fund and has extensive experience in Workers' Compensation matters.

Other hires Morrisey announced Wednesday include Assistant Attorneys General Chris Dodrill, Jennifer Greenlief and Shane Wilson, as well as administrative assistant Vicki Pendell.

“I am excited that we have been able to attract such tremendously talented people to work for the Office of Attorney General," Morrisey said. "We have a great deal of work to accomplish, but with the assistance of these individuals and the many other talented people already working for the West Virginia Attorney General’s office, it will only be a matter of time before our office is widely respected as one of the top 'law firms' in the state and the country.

“We will always seek to recruit the best and the brightest attorneys from every part of West Virginia and the United States so that we can put the needs of West Virginians first.”

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