Attorney General-Elect Andy Beshear announces leadership team - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Attorney General-Elect Andy Beshear announces leadership team

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Attorney General-elect Andy Beshear has announced a leadership team that will ensure his priorities of protecting children, families and seniors are achieved by addressing the serious challenges facing Kentucky. 

With a special focus on preventing child abuse, protecting seniors, ending the state’s drug epidemic and backlog of rape kits, Beshear has assembled a team of experienced and diverse leaders committed to serving the people of Kentucky with the highest ethical standard. 

“I’m proud to have such a talented and dedicated group of public servants working with me in the Office of the Attorney General,” Beshear said. “They will be valuable advisers as we partner with local, state and federal leaders to strengthen the quality of life for our families and communities. Their service to the office is a win for the Commonwealth.” 

In selecting his Deputy Attorney General, Beshear tapped former prosecutor and former state Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer. Longmeyer was a prosecutor for more than 14 years in Jefferson County. As head of the Personnel Cabinet, he served as chair of the Kentucky Group Health Insurance Board, served on the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board, and presided over administration, payroll and benefits for employees throughout state government. 

Beshear has structured the Office of the Attorney General to better serve Kentucky children, families and its most vulnerable citizens. Three assistant deputy attorneys general will head the office’s three branches – criminal, civil and family. Beshear created the family branch to draw extra attention to the challenges facing Kentucky families.

Criminal Branch
To head the office’s Criminal Branch, Beshear has selected J. Michael Brown. Brown served as secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for eight years. A former district court judge in Jefferson County, he was law director for the City of Louisville, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney, and served on the board of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority for 12 years, including six years as the chair. Brown was elected the first African American president of the Louisville Bar Association, chaired the Kentucky Bar Association’s Task Force on Minorities and is a former member of the Ethics Committee. 

Brown will oversee the offices within the Criminal Branch: 

Regina “Gina” Carey will serve as the executive director for the Office of the Prosecutors Advisory Council, a position she has held since 2013. Carey has served the Prosecutors Advisory Council in nearly every position in the office throughout the past 25 years. 

Vickie Wise will head the Office of Criminal Appeals. Wise previously served as an assistant attorney general in the Office of Criminal Appeals, director of the Office of Victims Advocacy and as the director of the Office of Administrative Services. Most recently, Wise served as general counsel for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. 

Special Prosecutions Unit will be directed by Shawna Virgin Kincer, who currently serves as the executive director of the office. She worked as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and worked as an assistant in the 14th Judicial Circuit.  

John Moberly will head the Department of Criminal Investigations. Moberly has 24 years of experience with the Kentucky State Police and is a certified Kentucky Law Enforcement Counsel Instructor. 

Civil Branch 
Mitchel T. Denham will supervise the Civil Branch. Denham currently oversees the office’s Criminal Division and previously served as the executive director of the Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Denham was a deputy division chief and senior narcotics prosecutor at the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. 

Denham will oversee the offices in the Civil Branch: 

La Tasha Buckner will head the Office of Civil and Environmental Law. Buckner, who has 16 years of litigation experience before federal, state and administrative bodies, served as deputy executive director for the Public Protection Cabinet’s Office of Legal Services and was the general counsel to the cabinet’s Department of Charitable Gaming and to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.  

To manage the Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse, Beshear named Michael Wright who served in the Office of the Attorney General for over 20 years, working as a prosecutor, branch manager and litigation manager. 

Rebecca Goodman will manage the Office of Rate Intervention. Goodman has served as general counsel for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, and the Kentucky Electric Generation and Transmission Siting Board. Most recently, she served as the executive director of the Office of Legal Services with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

Family Branch
To head the Family Branch, Beshear selected Maryellen Buxton Mynear. Mynear has served as the inspector general for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She previously worked for the Office of the Attorney General where she directed litigation for the Office of Consumer Protection, an office she will oversee, for nearly 10 years. Mynear also served four years as assistant general counsel for the Kentucky School Boards Association and spent four years with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Department of Law. 

Mynear will oversee the offices in the Family Branch:

Gerina Whethers will head the Office of Senior Protection. Whethers currently serves as the executive director in the Office of Victims Advocacy at the Office of the Attorney General. She previously worked for 10 years on criminal cases in Jefferson County and worked as assistant county attorney in the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Unit for the Jefferson County Attorney, prosecuting cases of child sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse.  

Allyson Cox Taylor joins the team as the director of the Office of Child Abuse. Taylor’s experience includes prosecuting cases for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect and Sexual Assault Unit. She served as the director of the Prosecutors Advisory Council and the Office of Victims Advocacy in the Office of Attorney General and most recently served as chief of staff and legislative liaison to the commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. 

Gretchen Hunt will oversee the Office of Victims Advocacy. She has advocated for the rights of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking for the past 15 years. She has worked at the Center for Women and Families, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs. 

The following staff will also assist in carrying out the mission of the Office of the Attorney General: 

Administrative Services
Holly McCoy-Johnson will serve as head of administration services. Holly has 20 years of experience in state government including oversight of fiscal management, personnel, IT services and operational support for the Public Protection Cabinet, the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Labor Cabinet. 

Susan Rieber, who recently served as chief of staff to former First Lady Jane Beshear, will serve as an assistant to the Attorney General. 

Communications
Terry Sebastian will serve as communications director, having previously handled communications for two governors, the auditor of public accounts and state treasurer. Sebastian also worked in the Legislative Research Commission’s public information office.  

Crystal Pryor Staley will serve as the deputy communications director. Staley joins the team with eight years of experience at the Personnel Cabinet where she served as chief information officer and legislative liaison. 

Initiatives 
Don Pasley will serve in the Initiatives Office. Pasley, a former lawmaker, most recently served as commissioner of the Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid. 

Beshear will be sworn in as Kentucky’s 50th Attorney General Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. 

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