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Cuccinelli staffs up attorney general's office

Rosalind Helderman

Virginia's new attorney general Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, preparing to take office on Jan. 16, todayannounced most of his top aides. Williams Mullen partner Charles E. "Chuck" James Jr. will serve as his chief deputy.

James, a former federal prosecutor, has been serving as co-chair of Williams Mullen's Government and Corporate Investigations Team. He is the son of Kay Cole James, a cabinet secretary under Gov. George Allen and co-chair of Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's transition team.

"This is a team that shares a core set of conservative principles, is going to serve the people of Virginia well, vigorously defending our constitution, fighting federal overreaching and protecting the individual rights of every Virginian," Cuccinelli said.

Follow to the jump to read the full release from Cuccinelli, including biographies of each of his appointees.

Full release from Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli:

Richmond-Today, Attorney General-elect Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II announced his leadership team for the Office of the Attorney General. In making his appointments, Attorney General-elect Cuccinelli commented, "I, and the citizens of the Commonwealth, are fortunate to have such a talented group of people who are willing serve in public life. With this team, the Office of the Attorney General will work with vigilance to protect the liberties and rights of Virginia's citizens provided by the Constitution of Virginia and the United States Constitution."

Charles E. "Chuck" James, Jr. will serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General. Mr. James returns to public service after a time as a partner at Williams Mullen where he Co-Chaired the Government and Corporate Investigations Team. Mr. James previously served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia's Richmond and Alexandria Divisions and in a policy and management role at the Department of Justice's Criminal Division, Washington, D.C. Mr. James also has briefed and argued numerous cases dealing with constitutional issues stemming from white collar, immigration, violent crime and narcotics cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mr. James received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctorate from the Washington and Lee University School of Law.


Duncan E. Getchell, Jr. will serve as Solicitor General. Mr. Getchell has been the Chair of the Appellate Practice Team at McGuireWoods LLP where he participated in over 130 appeals, conducting merits arguments in approximately 75 cases, including constitutional arguments before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit en banc, panels of the Fourth and Eighth Circuits, and before the Supreme Court of Virginia, as well as making such arguments before trial courts in several federal circuits and in Virginia circuit courts. After graduating from Emory University and Duke Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, he practiced at McGuireWoods LLP except for two years when he served as a captain in the USAF detached to the Office of the General Counsel, Secretary of the Air Force, as a participant in the Air Force Honors Program. Other honors include elected membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the American Law Institute. He is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, various bar associations, and the Federalist Society. He has served as Special Counsel to the Commonwealth of Virginia and two federal study/investigating commissions. On September 6, 2007 he was nominated to be a judge on the Fourth Circuit by President George W. Bush.

Wesley G. "Wes" Russell, Jr. will serve as Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation. Mr. Russell was a partner at the Richmond firm of McSweeney, Crump, Childress & Temple, P.C. A member of the firm's litigation section, Mr. Russell's practice has focused on professional liability defense and Constitutional law. Given his work for both private clients and as outside counsel for the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Russell has extensive trial and appellate experience regarding Constitutional challenges to statutes as well as claims involving sovereign immunity, the Virginia Tort Claims Act, and separation of powers issues. Mr. Russell is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law.


David E. Johnson will continue to serve as Deputy Attorney General for Health, Education, and Social Services. Mr. Johnson has served for twelve years in the Office of Attorney General as Counsel, Senior Counsel, and, for the past seven years, Deputy Attorney General for Health, Education, and Social Services. He was the principal draftsman of the Virginia Marriage Amendment, counsel to the College of William & Mary, and author of Abraham's Law. A native of Richmond, he was graduated from the College of William & Mary and the University of Richmond School of Law.
Steve T. Buck will serve as Deputy Attorney General for Public Safety and Enforcement. Mr. Buck has spent the last 21 years in public service. After completing a judicial clerkship at the Supreme Court of Virginia, he spent the next 12+ years as a state court prosecutor in the City of Richmond, Henrico County, and Albemarle County. In 2003, he returned to the Attorney General's Office as the Chief Prosecutor in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. For the past 3 and a half years, Mr., Buck has served as the Section Chief of the Health Care Fraud and Elder Abuse Section of the Attorney General's Office. Mr. Buck graduated from the University of Virginia and William and Mary (Marshall-Wythe School of Law).


Richard "Rick" Neel will serve as Deputy Attorney General for Technology, Real Estate, Environment and Transportation. Mr. Neel has been an attorney in private practice and civic leader in Fairfax County. He recently completed eight years of service as President of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, a nonprofit entity engaged in economic development and commercial revitalization initiatives. Last month, the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce named Neel its 2009 Chamber Citizen of the Year. A former associate with the law firm Dewey Ballantine in Washington, D.C., Neel received his J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review editorial board.

Harrison L. Clark will serve as Director of Administration. Mr. Clark served for eight years in the George W. Bush Administration as Director of Outreach and Communications for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education. In that capacity he advised non-profit organizations about federal and private grant opportunities available to support tutoring and after-school programs. He also provided training for state and local program administrators, as well as elected officials, interested in working with faith-based and community organizations. Before entering the Bush Administration, Clark was a teacher and school administrator. He has a BA in Latin & Greek from Hampden-Sydney College.


Audrey Berkshire Jackson
will serve as Director of Legislative and Government Affairs. Ms. Jackson has numerous years experience working with the Virginia General Assembly. She served as Member Support Manager for the National Federation of Independent Business of Virginia (NFIB/VA). She served as Legislative Director for Delegate Matt Lohr, 26th House District of Virginia and was Central Virginia field Director for Cuccinelli for Attorney General. Ms. Jackson is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University.


Noah Rogers will serve as Scheduler and Special Assistant to the Attorney General. Mr. Rogers has served as an aide to Governor Jim Gilmore, Senator George Allen, Attorney General Mark Earley, and Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell. Mr. Rogers graduated from Guilford College.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 8, 2010; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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