Patrick Morrisey, who defeated longtime Attorney General Darrell McGraw in November’s election, will announce big changes to that office at a press conference this afternoon.
Speaking to Hoppy Kercheval on “Talkline” Wednesday morning, Morrisey said he would appoint Dan Greear as chief counsel. Greear ran for attorney general in 2008 and almost defeated McGraw, losing by only about 3,000 votes. He also represented Kanawha County’s 30th House of Delegates district from 1995 to 1996.
Morrisey called Greear a “terrific lawyer.”
Although Morrisey told Kercheval he would not announce any more members of his team until a press conference at 1 p.m. today, he said his team is made up of the “best and brightest” from the national legal community.
“People will be very pleased with a lot of today’s announcements,” he said. “When you see the pedigree on some of these people, I think you’re going to be very pleased.”
Morrisey said he also will install a solicitor general in the attorney general’s office. He would not give the person’s name, but said his pick is a top appellate lawyer that has worked as a clerk for the Supreme Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals, was the managing editor of a major law journal and previously was a partner at a “top-notch” lawfirm.
“This is going to blow people away,” Morrisey assured Kercheval, though he said the name probably would not be more recognizable to the legal community than to the general public.
Not everyone from McGraw’s administration will be looking for a new job, however. Morrisey said some of the former attorney general’s staff would continue to work in the office.
“In any organization, there are things that are going right.”
He said the office will change the way it hires outside counsel, however. Morrisey has accused McGraw of hiring friends and campaign supporters as contracting attorneys. He said his administration would establish a competitive bidding process with criteria to make sure the state gets quality legal work for a low cost.
“When you have some complex matters where you require specialized counsel, there’s nothing wrong with hiring specialized counsel,” he said.
Check www.charlestondailymail.com this afternoon for a full story about Morrisey’s press conference.