AG-elect Tim Griffin reorganizes staff structure, announces key roles

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,079 views 

Lt. Governor and Attorney General-elect Tim Griffin announced a reorganization of the staff structure of the AG office and named several key leaders.

Griffin said he is creating an office of General Counsel and appointing a general counsel with the responsibility of providing legal advice internally within the Office of the Attorney General and externally through the Opinions and State Agencies Divisions, both of which will be led by a deputy general counsel.

He also said he is eliminating the position of chief of staff and two deputy chief of staff positions to implement a unified supervisory structure headed by the chief deputy attorney general.

Additionally, he is creating a Special Litigation Section under the Civil Litigation Division. This new section of experienced litigators will handle the most complex cases and work in tandem with the appellate practice of the Solicitor General’s office.

Griffin also is creating a director of trial advocacy position to ensure that the Office of the Attorney General has the highest level of trial advocacy training, especially for younger, less experienced attorneys. Griffin is also creating a Special Prosecutions Division to work directly with the Special Investigations Division.

“I first want to thank Attorney General Rutledge for her assistance and cooperation during our transition. I am excited to announce my senior staff and restructuring. This talented team will serve with excellence and the highest level of professionalism. They share my commitment to protecting Arkansans from criminals, unscrupulous actors, and an overreaching federal government,” Griffin said.

Griffin named the following people to serve in the Office of the Attorney General when he takes the oath of office as Arkansas’s 57th Attorney General on January 10, 2023:

Chief Deputy Attorney General Bob R. Brooks, Jr. is a Fort Smith native and is a partner at Capitol Counsel, LLC. General Counsel Zach Mayo is a native Arkansan who works as criminal justice counsel in the Office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Senior Advisor Carl Vogelpohl is a Little Rock native and works as chief of staff for Lt. Governor Griffin and is a former chief of staff in the Office of the Attorney General.

Assistant Attorney General and Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Alexandra Benton is a native of Batesville and works as counselor and deputy Ddirector of America Strong and Free, Inc., and previously served as appointment coordinator for Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Director, Office of Community Relations, Anushree Jumde is from Conway and works as district director for Second District Congressman French Hill. Deputy General Counsel for State Agencies Daniel Faulkner is deputy attorney general for State Agencies and has been in the office since 2016.

Deputy General Counsel for Opinions Ryan Owsley is from Little Rock and works as a senior legislative attorney in the Bureau of Legislative Research. He previously served in the Attorney General’s office from 2008 through 2016.

Deputy Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, John Payne is the deputy adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard and holds the rank of Brigadier General.

Senior Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, and Chief, Special Litigation Section, Christine Cryer will return to the Attorney General’s office from the Arkansas Department of Corrections where she works as chief legal counsel.

Senior Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, Special Litigation Section, Noah Watson is an associate attorney at Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull, PLLC in Little Rock where his practice focuses on civil litigation. Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, Special Litigation Section, Justin Brascher now works as a deputy prosecutor in the Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office in Kelso, Wash.

Senior Assistant Attorney General and Director of Trial Advocacy, Civil Litigation Division, Renae Ford Hudson is from Sherwood and works as the deputy attorney general of the Civil Litigation Division. Deputy Attorney General, Public Protection Division, Chuck Harder is from Benton and previously led the Public Protection Division.

Senior Assistant Attorney General, Special Prosecutions Division, Ryan Cooper is from Walnut Ridge and works as the prosecuting attorney for the Third Judicial District. Deputy Chief of Investigations and Director, Executive Protection Unit, Special Investigations Division, John Howard is the special agent in charge in the Special Investigations Division and a reserve officer in the Jacksonville Police Department.

Last week, Griffin announced that former Little Rock Police Department Interim Chief Wayne Bewley will become his chief of investigations, Special Investigations Division. Solicitor General Nicholas Bronni is a Camden native and has worked as solicitor general since 2018.

Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Division, Darnisa Johnson started in the Attorney General’s office in 1991 as an assistant attorney general. Deputy Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Lloyd Warford is a native of North Little Rock and has worked in this position since 2015.