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Agency Chief Counsel


Governor's Office of Administration

 Jullia A. Sheridan
 Chief Counsel 

Jullia A. Sheridan was appointed Chief Counsel to the Office of Administration in April 2011.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Sheridan served as assistant counsel, and later, as deputy chief counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue,   representing that agency in a wide variety of areas, including employment, procurement and contract matters.  She also has significant experience in gaming issues, having served as counsel to the Pennsylvania Lottery and assisting with the Department’s implementation of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

Ms. Sheridan received her undergraduate degree with honors from Gannon College, in Erie, Pennsylvania, and her juris doctor from the Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jullia A. Sheridan 

Department of Aging
Harriet F. Withstandley
Chief Counsel

Harriet F. Withstandley was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in February 2003.  Prior to her appointment, she was in private practice in Philadelphia, and also served as Associate General Counsel to a large healthcare system.  Early in her career, Harriet was associated with the Philadelphia law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen. Her prior service with the Commonwealth includes appointments as Assistant Counsel to the Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund and as a Bar Examiner for the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners.  Harriet served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Weiner, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association.  Harriet has been a frequent speaker on elder law, medical malpractice insurance, litigation and health law issues.  Harriet received bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from Ohio State University and her juris doctor from Temple University School of Law, where she was Articles Editor of the Temple Law Quarterly.
  Harriet Withstandley - Photo

Department of Agriculture

John H. Howard
Chief Counsel

John Howard was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of Agriculture in March, 2011.  From 2002 until his appointment, he served as the Staff Attorney for the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, where he was responsible for advising Board Staff as to interpretation and enforcement of the Milk Marketing Law, representing the Staff in proceedings before the board, and drafting regulations and moving them through the regulatory review process.  From 1999 to 2002 he was an associate in a small law practice in Lancaster County advising farm clients on matters involving agricultural land preservation, the Clean and Green Act, real estate transactions, environmental and nutrient management laws, and estate planning.

John brings a thorough knowledge of the agriculture industry, from production, regulatory, legal and organizational levels.  From 1981 to 2001, John operated a dairy farm in Willow Street, Lancaster County and continues to operate the farm for the growing of cash crops.  He has been a leader in local, state and national agricultural organizations, serving as a director of the Holstein Association USA, President of the Lancaster County Holstein Association, director of the Lancaster County Dairy Herd Improvement Association, and legislative liaison for the Lancaster County Farm Bureau.  John has also been active in local government, serving as a Township Supervisor for 15 years, as well as a member of his township’s Zoning Hearing Board, Planning Commission, and Recreation Commission.  Since 2007, he has served as an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College, teaching a course in agricultural law at the Lancaster campus.

John received a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1975 and a Juris Doctor from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 1999.  He is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, which he served as Chairman of the Agricultural Law Committee.

John Howard 

Department of Banking and Securities
Carter D. Frantz
Chief Counsel

Carter is the Chief Counsel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, a position he has held since the October 1, 2012, merger of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Banking and the Pennsylvania Securities Commission.  Prior to the merger, he served as Chief Counsel to the Department of Banking, a position he was appointed to in 2007 following a year as Acting Chief Counsel.  He also served the Department of Banking as Deputy Chief Counsel from 2004 to 2006 and as Staff Counsel from 1998 to 2004.  Carter is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs and industry conferences and was selected as a Rising Star in the area of banking law by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine in 2008.  He received his B.A. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and his J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1998, where he was Notes Editor for the Dickinson Journal of International Law.  He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Pennsylvania and Dauphin County Bar Associations.
  Carter D. Frantz
 
Governor's Office of the Budget

Brian Zweiacher   
Chief Counsel 

Brian D. Zweiacher was appointed Chief Counsel to the Governor’s Office of the Budget in June of 2012.  Prior to his appointment, he served as the Acting Chief Counsel since March of 2012.  From 1993 to 2012, he served the Governor’s Office of the Budget Legal Office as an Assistant Counsel.

The Governor’s Office of the Budget is the Commonwealth’s fiscal manager with the responsibility for overseeing the Commonwealth’s financial operations and transactions of Pennsylvania’s $60+ billion total operating budget.  In its role as the Commonwealth’s fiscal manager, the Governor’s Office of the Budget:  oversees the creation of the Pennsylvania Governor’s annual Executive Budget plan and capital project spending plan; participates in the enactment of the Commonwealth’s annual budget plan and the budget-related legislation; oversees the implementation and execution of the enacted annual budgets and capital project itemization acts; processes the expenditure and payroll transactions for the Executive Branch agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction and several independent agencies; has the lead responsibility for issuing and managing the Commonwealth’s General Obligation bonds; and, conducts or oversees financial and performance audits of Commonwealth agencies, including the Commonwealth’s annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and its annual federal Single Audit.  The Governor’s Office of the Budget Legal Office advises the Governor’s Office of the Budget on all of these areas of Pennsylvania’s financial operations, and on the Governor’s Office of the Budget’s own employment, procurement, and contract matters, and represents the Governor’s Office of the Budget before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.

Brian received his B.A. with honors from Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and his juris doctor from the Widener University School of Law where he was a staff member of what is now known as The Widener Law Journal, the law journal of Widener’s Harrisburg campus.  He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

  Brian Zweiacher

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Steven V. Turner 
Chief Counsel 

Steven V. Turner was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in January 2014, where he previously served as Chief Counsel from August 2007 through October 2009.  Prior to his reappointment, he served as Chief Counsel to the Department of State since November 2009.  During his tenure with the Department of State, Mr. Turner advised the Secretary of the Commonwealth and Department staff on legal and administrative matters.

Mr. Turner served as Chief Counsel to the Office of Inspector General from 2004 to 2007.  Additionally, he served as the General Counsel’s representative to the Board of Finance and Revenue.  Previously he was appointed Deputy General Counsel in January 2000 and was reappointed to that post in January 2003.  He served as the General Counsel’s liaison with the Chief Counsels to the Insurance Department and the Departments of Revenue and State.  In addition, Steve served as counsel to the Public Employee Retirement Commission.  From June 1999 to January 2000, Steve served as Chief Counsel to the Department of State.  Prior to that, he was a prosecuting attorney for the Department’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, where he prosecuted professional misconduct cases.  Steve also served as a Senior Deputy Inspector General for the Office of Inspector General.  Before joining the Commonwealth, he served as a Special Assistant in the United States Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh.  Steve received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California in 1979 and his Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law in 1984.

Steve has volunteered in programs serving children, both in the Philadelphia area and in Harrisburg.  He volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for many years, primarily working with children and families in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.  He received the 1992 Philadelphia Bar Association Craig M. Perry Community Service Award for his volunteer work performed at CHOP.  Steve was featured on the cover of the spring 1996 issue of Philadelphia Lawyer magazine and in a corresponding article entitled “The New Face of Pro Bono – Enhancing the Lawyers Image.”  Since moving to Harrisburg, he has volunteered at the Hershey Medical Center Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and also the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey.  He is a domestic violence advocate, trainer and pro bono PFA attorney for the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, a co-founder of YWCA’s Men Against Domestic Violence Program and a member of the Dauphin County Domestic Violence Task Force.  Steve has received the 1997 Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Young Lawyers Division Michael K. Smith Excellence in Service Award and the PBA Government Lawyer of the Year Award in 2006.

Steven V. Turner 

Department of Community and Economic Development

Christopher C. Houston 
Chief Counsel 

Christopher C. Houston was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of Community and Economic Development in March of 2012. From 2010 until his appointment, he served as the Executive Director of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the County of Cumberland, where he oversaw the administration of various housing, community and economic development projects and programs in Perry and Cumberland Counties. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Chris served in a variety of positions with the Authorities, including Assistant Director, General Counsel and Director of Real Estate Development.

Chris brings to the Department a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling complex legal matters pertaining to economic and community development projects, as well as in the development and management of affordable housing. He has also provided guidance and advice in the drafting of legislation at the state and federal levels, pertaining to blight abatement and eminent domain. He is a frequent lecturer on housing and redevelopment topics and related legal affairs.

Chris was in private practice from 1982 to 1999, where he concentrated on transactional matters and municipal law. He has been active in the Cumberland County Bar Association, having served on the board of directors, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Bench/Bar Committee, and Judicial Evaluation Commission. He has also been active in serving on various other community boards and organizations, including spearheading the effort to create, fund and staff a community health center. He has received numerous awards including The Stuart Award from the Cumberland County Bar Association, Carlisle Area's Finest Professional from The Sentinel newspaper, and Person of the Year from the Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies.

Chris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University in 1979 and a Juris Doctor from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 1982. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

  Christopher Houston .jpeg

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Richard S. Morrison 
Chief Counsel    

Richard S. Morrison was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in November of 2013.  Prior to his appointment Mr. Morrison served as Acting Chief Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection from September of 2013.  Previously, Mr. Morrison served as Executive Deputy Chief Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Chief Counsel since May 2012.  He previously served as Assistant Director of PADEP’s Bureau of Regulatory Counsel.  He joined PADEP in January 2005 and has served as program counsel for the Department’s mining program, for the Bureau of Radiation Protection and the Bureau of Waste Management.  Prior to joining PADEP, Mr. Morrison was in private practice in the New Jersey office of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews and Ingersoll where he practiced environmental litigation and franchise law.  From 2001-04, he was an assistant counsel to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.  He is a 1994 honors graduate of Rutgers School of Law, Camden.

Richard S. Morrison

Department of Corrections

Theron Perez  
Chief Counsel

Theron R. Perez was appointed as Chief Counsel for the Department of Corrections (DOC) in July 2013.  Prior to his appointment, he served as Acting Chief Counsel beginning in March of 2013. Theron previously served as Deputy Chief Counsel and headed the Employment Litigation section for the DOC since June of 2011.  He has been with the DOC since 2005 and has served in numerous capacities.  He has represented the DOC in both federal and state litigation in various matters.  He has been involved in the negotiation and review of contracts, developed and delivered legal training for DOC staff, and provided advice regarding the promulgation of policy, Right to Know Law matters, and employment and labor issues. 

Prior to serving at DOC, Theron served as the Deputy Director for the Central Region for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.  An active member of the community, Theron is a Youth Director for the Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Middletown, PA and has served as a volunteer attorney in the Dauphin County Pro Bono Program.  He is a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law and completed his undergraduate studies at Messiah College. 

  Theron R. Perez
 

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

 
Chief Counsel    

Biography and Portrait forthcoming

 


Department of Education

Robert M. Tomaine, Jr.
Chief Counsel 

Robert M. Tomaine Jr. was appointed Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in May 2014.  Prior to his appointment, Bob worked as an Assistant Counsel for the PDE Office of Chief Counsel for more than 13 years specializing in a wide variety of subject areas including human resources, alternative education, federal food programs and occupational training schools. 

Throughout his tenure with PDE, Bob has represented the agency on a regular basis in administrative litigation and appellate matters before the Commonwealth Court.  Bob has a long record of advocacy on behalf of school children serving for several years as a prosecutor of educator discipline cases involving victims of sexual and physical abuse and for more than a decade as the solicitor and primary legal advisor to the Scranton State School for the Deaf.   Recently, Bob has handled a large caseload of administrative litigation for PDE and has assisted the agency with numerous investigative and law enforcement matters. 

Bob began his legal career as a law clerk and attorney for the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission.  Bob received his B.A. in English magna cum laude from Dickinson College and his J.D. from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

Robert M. Tomaine Jr.


Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority

Kelly Hoover Thompson
 Chief Counsel 

Kelly Hoover Thompson was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority in September 2014. Previously she served as the Executive Policy and Privacy Officer of the Authority. She oversees the alignment and implementation of laws and policies related to the use of electronic health information exchange (eHIE) in Pennsylvania. Her work includes the review, analysis, and development of legislation and healthcare regulations related to health information exchange, health information technology, and patient privacy.

Before returning to the commonwealth, Thompson was Senior Director of Regulatory Advocacy for The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). In that role, she played an integral role in the Authority’s stakeholder process and the Commonwealth’s health information exchange efforts since 2008. For nearly eight years she handled professional and general liability defense claims, including serving as Senior Attorney Examiner and Statewide Mediation Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s MCARE Fund. Thompson also has more than a decade of experience as an adjunct instructor of paralegal studies at Harrisburg-area professional/technical schools. She began her legal career as Assistant Counsel with the state Senate Majority legal staff.

Thompson holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Widener University School of Law, where she graduated with honors and was editor-in-chief of the law review. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh.

Thompson serves on the board of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg and resides in Dauphin County with her husband and four children.

Kelly Hoover Thompson

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Tanya Leshko
Chief Counsel

Tanya C. Leshko was appointed Chief Counsel at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) in June 2012.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Leshko served as counsel to the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) at the Department of Health from 2007.  She managed OPHP’s program-related contracts and grants, interfaced with government and private parties on issues related to public health preparedness and response, analyzed proposed legislation, and also litigate matters regarding information requests covered by the Disease Prevention and Control Law and Right to Know Law.

A veteran OGC attorney, Ms. Leshko served as Senior Counsel at the Department of General Services from 2005 to 2006, Assistant General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) from 2003 to 2005, and Assistant Counsel at Department of Health from 1999 to 2003.  She began her career as an associate at Wolf Block in 1996.  She has participated in numerous public health preparedness presentations for the Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, OGC, the University of Pittsburgh, PEMA, as well as the Cumberland County Inns of Court.  She received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Tanya Leshko 

Department of Environmental Protection

Dennis Whitaker 
Chief Counsel

Dennis A. Whitaker is the Chief Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection, the executive agency responsible for administering and enforcing Pennsylvania’s environmental statutes and regulations.  He was appointed in November 2013.  The Department’s Office of Chief Counsel is the largest environmental “law firm” in Pennsylvania and provides a wide variety of counseling, transactional and litigation services to the agency.  As Chief Counsel, Mr. Whitaker oversees an office of more than seventy attorneys, nine investigators and attendant administrative staff.  Among other duties, he also serves as a member of the Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee.  Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Whitaker was Chief Counsel for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the executive agency charged with stewardship over Pennsylvania’s one hundred twenty state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forest land.  From November 1990 until May 2012, he served the Department of Environmental Protection and its predecessor agency, the Department of Environmental Resources, as an assistant counsel, as a Supervisory Attorney, as Assistant Chief Counsel-Litigation Coordinator and as Executive Deputy Chief Counsel.

An experienced trial and appellate lawyer, Mr. Whitaker was lead trial counsel for three Commonwealth agencies in their action to prevent the privatization of a portion of the Little Juniata River, a world class trout fishery.  He also was counsel in the appeal in which the discovery rule first was applied to Clean Streams Law matters, and successfully argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that strict liability applies to landowners and occupiers under The Clean Streams Law without regard to knowledge or fault.  He has litigated other issues as diverse as the First Amendment right to petition government and the effect of the Eleventh Amendment on the relationship between federal regulators and state mining programs.  From 1988 to 1990, Mr. Whitaker clerked for the Honorable Joseph T. Doyle of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.  Active in the bar, he currently is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Board of Directors and serves on the PBA Environment and Energy Law Section Council in addition to his membership in the Administrative Law Section and Appellate Advocacy, Government Lawyers, Statutory Law and Shale Energy Law Committees.

Mr. Whitaker is a past Chair of the Administrative Law Section and served two terms as the Section’s delegate to PBA’s House of Delegates.  He is a Master Emeritus in the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court and has been active in the planning of several CLE programs with PBI.  He has served on the faculty of and authored CLE materials for PBI’s Environmental Law Forum, PBI’s Advocacy before Administrative Law Judges program, and its Administrative Law Symposium, among many others. He also has instructed the minor judiciary on access and entry issues.  Mr. Whitaker has written on subjects including state sovereign immunity and the Eleventh Amendment, and on the admissibility of hearsay evidence relied upon by experts.  He received his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law and his B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University.

  Dennis Whitaker

Department of General Services
Andrew S. Gordon
Chief Counsel 

Andrew S. Gordon is the Chief Counsel to the Department of General Services. He was appointed to this position in April of 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Counsel with the Department of Transportation beginning in that capacity in May of 1995. From February 1988 through April 1995, Andy was a member of the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll, where he handled numerous commercial litigation matters in state and federal court. Andy was Chief of the Litigation Section of the Office of Attorney General from January 1986 through January 1988. He also served in a variety of other capacities in the Litigation Section from January 1981 through January 1986, including as the Appeals Coordinator from 1983 to 1986. Andy was recruited under the U.S. Department of Justice's Honors Program for recent law school graduates and, from September 1977 through May 1980, he served in the Criminal Division. Andy received his bachelor of science degree, magna cum laude, from Boston University in 1974 and his juris doctor degree, cum laude, from The Dickinson School of Law in 1977.
  Andrew S. Gordon

Department of Health

Alison Taylor 
Chief Counsel

Alison Taylor was appointed Chief Counsel with the Department of Health in March of 2011. Prior to that appointment, she served as Deputy General Counsel beginning in January 2003. Previous to that, she had been an Assistant General Counsel since 1997. In her role as Deputy General Counsel, Alison served as the General Counsel's liaison with the Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Department of Corrections, the Office of Inspector General, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). In addition, she was counsel to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission. In October 2009, Alison had also been named Acting Chief Counsel at PCCD, a position she previously held for most of 2007, and functioned in concurrently with her duties as Deputy General Counsel until her appointment as Chief Counsel in 2011.

Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Alison served as a senior law clerk to the Honorable J. Michael Eakin of the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 1996 and 1997. From 1991 to 1995, Alison was an Assistant District Attorney in Cumberland County where she prosecuted a variety of cases, including assisting in a capital case. In addition, she supervised the appellate division of the District Attorney’s office and wrote briefs for and argued cases before the state Superior and Supreme Courts.

Alison received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1991. That same year, she was a member of the Robert F. Wagner Memorial Labor Law Moot Court Team and was elected to The Order of Barristers. She earned her B.A. cum laude in English and American studies from Dickinson College. Between college and law school, she worked in public relations in New York City, writing press releases, by-lined articles, and speeches for executives in a variety of business and consumer product corporations.

From 2002 to 2008, Alison served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Dauphin County Bar Association.

  Alison Taylor

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Tammi Snyder-Queen
Chief Counsel

Tammi Snyder-Queen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in various regions of the United States before settling in Harrisburg.  As a government lawyer, she has focused her career on transactional and litigation matters involving public health and emergency management law, art and cultural property law, and professional licensing law.  Appointed as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in May 2013, Tammi addresses all legal matters for the Commission.

Prior to her appointment, Tammi served as a Deputy General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel from 2007-2010.  During her tenure, she served as counsel to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, liaison counsel to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and addressed matters involving the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know-Law.  Following her role in the Office of General Counsel’s Main Office, she served as a prosecutor for the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs handling cases for the State Boards of Dentistry, Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine.  In 2012, she joined the Pennsylvania Department of Health as an Assistant counsel advising the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness.

Tammi is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Florida.  She received her B.S. in Communications from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.  While in law school, Tammi was a member of the National Trial Competition Team, honored as Best Advocate, and elected to The Order of Barristers.  She served as an extern in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and interned for the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, 12th Judicial District under the auspices of the Honorable John F. Cherry.

Tammi Snyder-Queen


Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Rebecca L. Peace
Chief Counsel

Rebecca L. Peace is the Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. She was first appointed to this position in 1989 and reappointed in 1995 and 2003. In her position, she counsels the PHFA Board and is involved in the senior management and general administration as well as program administration and development for the agency’s single-family housing, multifamily housing, and financing programs.

Prior to becoming Chief Counsel, Rebecca was a member of the agency's legal staff. Earlier, she served as staff counsel in a rural legal services program. Rebecca received her bachelor of science from the University of Pittsburgh and her juris doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
 

Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST)

Jayne B. Blake
Chief Counsel

Jayne B. Blake is the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (“PENNVEST”).  Jayne was initially appointed to that position in January 2005 and reappointed August 1, 2012.  In her position, Jayne counsels the PENNVEST Board and is involved in the senior management and general administration, as well as program administration and development of PENNVEST’s loans and grant programs for water, sewer and nonpoint source projects, the nutrient trading clearinghouse and the use of funds for investment in nutrient credits.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Counsel, Jayne served as Assistant Counsel to PENNVEST for ten years.  While in law school and briefly thereafter, Jayne served as a law clerk to the Chief Counsel at the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and to the administrative law judges at the Bureau of Workers Compensation.

Jayne received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Massachusetts, a juris doctor from Widener University School of Law and a LL.M. in Taxation and certification in Employee Benefits from Georgetown University Law Center.  Jayne is an Executive Committee member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Government Lawyers Committee and the Chair of the Governor’s Office of General Counsel’s Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group.

  Jayne B. Blake

Office of Inspector General

K. Kenneth Brown, II 
Chief Counsel

K. Kenneth Brown II was appointed Chief Counsel to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in May of 2013.  Previously, he served as Acting Chief Counsel from April of 2013, after serving as Senior Counsel to the OIG beginning in February of 2013, which involved managing cases and supervising OIG investigations.

The Office of Inspector General was created in 1987 by Executive Order 1987-7 to protect the interests of the Commonwealth and its citizens by preventing, investigating, and eradicating fraud, waste, abuse, and misconduct in the programs, operations, and contracting of executive agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.  Since 1994, the Office of Inspector General also has been investigating welfare fraud and conducting collection activities for various public assistance programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Prior to his tenure with OIG, Mr. Brown served as a Senior Deputy  Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Section.  From 2008-2013, Mr. Brown handled a variety of criminal cases, including the successful prosecution and conviction of several of the multi-year “Bonusgate” and “Computergate” public corruption cases as well as obtaining the conviction and death penalty for a man who murdered a Reading, PA police officer.  Mr. Brown began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, where he also was cross-designated for many years as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania so that he could prosecute criminal cases in both state and federal court.  Additionally, he has served in several faculty and instructor positions for various CLE courses and training sessions.

Mr. Brown is a cum laude graduate of both Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA) and The Dickinson School of Law (Carlisle, PA).

  K. Kenneth Brown, II

Department of Insurance

Yen T. Lucas
Chief Counsel

Yen Lucas was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department in April 2011.  Prior to her appointment, she served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Genworth Financial in Richmond, Virginia, where she was involved in matters relating to regulatory compliance, product development and government affairs.  Prior to joining Genworth, Ms. Lucas served as Director of the Accident and Health Bureau at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.  During that time, she was also appointed as a steering member to the Governor’s Task Force for Quality at the End of Life in Pennsylvania.  Most recently, she served as a Field Instructor in the Clinical Placement Program for the University of Richmond School Of Law.  

Ms. Lucas is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  She received her bachelor of arts from Pennsylvania State University and her juris doctor from Widener University School of Law.   

Yen T. Lucas

Department of Labor and Industry

Thomas C. Zipfel
Chief Counsel 

Thomas C. Zipfel was appointed Chief Counsel of the Department of Labor & Industry in March 2014, after having served as a Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel’s main office.  Prior to accepting a position in the public sector, Tom was General Counsel for a $130 million construction company located in Bucks County for more than five years.   While in private practice, Tom was a partner at Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman, P.C., where he represented clients primarily before local, state and federal employment discrimination agencies (EEOC, PHRC, etc.), and before state and federal courts in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases.  Tom also represented clients in various wage and hour matters and regularly before the National Labor Relations Board.  Tom has been practicing for more than 19 years.

Prior to joining OGC, Tom was General Counsel for a $130 million construction company located in Bucks County for more than five years.   While in private practice, Tom was a partner at Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman, P.C., where he represented clients primarily before local, state and federal employment discrimination agencies (EEOC, PHRC, etc.), and before state and federal courts in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases.  Tom also represented clients in various wage and hour matters and regularly before the National Labor Relations Board.  Tom has been practicing for more than 18 years.

In 2005, Tom won a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision which set legal precedent in field of labor law, and which was reported on the front page of The Legal Intelligencer.  In reversing a decision by the National Labor Relations Board, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that when a union or trade association conspires to keep the start of negotiations from association members a secret, a company must be allowed to withdraw from a multi-employer contract.  The ruling established new law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

The Philadelphia Business Journal named Tom as a recipient of the 15th Annual "40 Under 40" Award.  This award recognizes 40 young professionals under the age of 40 who are proven performers in their industry and community.  He was also named a Pennsylvania Rising Star in the field of Labor and Employment for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Law and Politics.

Tom received his B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University in 1992, and went on to attend Widener University School of Law where he graduated in 1995.  While at Widener, Tom served as a law clerk for Chief Administrative Law Judge Carl Summerson at the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission for two years.  Tom is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District Court of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

During his spare time, Tom is the President Commissioner of the Hatfield Township Board of Commissioners, volunteers as a child advocate with the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia, and coaches several youth athletic basketball and baseball teams.  Tom resides in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County with his wife and two children.

Thomas P. Zipfel 

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Michael C. Barrett
Chief Counsel

Michael C. Barrett was appointed as Chief Counsel for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in April of 2014.  Prior to his appointment, Mr. Barrett served as Senior Litigation Counsel with the Department of General Services, focusing on procurement and appellate litigation.

From July to October 2012, Mr. Barrett served as the Acting Chief Counsel, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, advising the Commission and its Executive Director on legal, personnel, budget, contracting and other administrative matters on an interim basis during the search for a replacement Chief Counsel.  He supervised seven staff attorneys in three regional offices, reviewing their work and performance with regard to discrimination complaints against state, corporate and private employers, business owners and landlords, and advised the Commission during public meetings. He also served as the acting Executive Director, approving recommendations for summary dismissal of complaints as well as being responsible for general agency administration during the Executive Director’s temporary absence.

From 1998 through 2004 he was Deputy Chief Counsel for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.  He advised the Adjutant General and staff on matters of employment and labor law, tort liability, contracts and procurement, health care and other legal issues.  He represented the agency in administrative hearings involving Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, the State Civil Service Commission, the Human Relations Commission and the EEOC, as well as appellate representation in state courts, and was the legal advisor to the State Veterans Commission, the State Armory Board, the State Veterans Memorial Commission and the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children.

From 1993 through 1998, he served in the Pennsylvania State Police Office of Chief Counsel, where he defended the agency in the Pennsylvania Supreme and Commonwealth Courts, the United States District Court, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  He handled hundreds of administrative hearings and grievance arbitrations within the agency, as well as appeared before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the State Civil Service Commission, and the EEOC.

From 1986 through 1993 he was Chief Prosecutor for the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in the Department of State, overseeing the prosecution of most of the professionals licensed in Pennsylvania before the 27 different licensing boards within the department, and managing a staff of 48 attorneys, paralegals and support personnel.

From 1981 through 1986 he served on active duty with the USAF where he prosecuted and defended courts martial, and represented the United States before the EEOC, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Texas PUC, and other administrative bodies, while assigned in Texas, Korea and at the Pentagon.  Mr. Barrett retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the USAF Reserve in 2005, where he represented military clients before the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Barrett received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michael Barrett

Board of Probation and Parole
Barbara L. Christie  
Chief Counsel

Barbara L. Christie was appointed as Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) in July of 2012.  Prior to her appointment at PBPP, Ms. Christie served as Chief Counsel with the Pennsylvania State Police from 1996 to 2012. Prior to that, she served as a trial attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Municipal Court Unit, Felony Unit, and Major Trial Unit. In 1975, she was promoted to Career Prosecutor in the Homicide Unit and then to Chief of the Homicide Unit in 1987, where she prosecuted numerous high profile homicide cases. Barbara received her juris doctor from the Villanova University School of Law in 1972. 
Barbara L. Christie

Public School Employees' Retirement System / Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System

Michele Ferencz
Chief Counsel

Michele M. Ferencz was appointed Chief Counsel to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System in February 2012.  Prior to joining the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, she served as Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary with Armstrong World Industries, Inc.   In that role, she managed the corporate governance function and supported the Board of Directors.  She was primarily responsible for assuring company compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange regulations.  Ms. Ferencz also served as legal advisor to the executive compensation group and Armstrong’s finance and treasury departments.  Previously, Ms. Ferencz was with Harsco Corporation and last served as Senior Counsel and Corporate Director.  She provided counsel to the company’s tax and treasury departments and managed international and domestic real estate transactions for the corporate office and its operating divisions.

Ms. Ferencz is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel and the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University and her Juris Doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law.  She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Michele M. Ferencz 

Department of Public Welfare

Kenneth J. Serafin
Chief Counsel 

Kenneth J. Serafin was appointed Chief Counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare in June 2011.  Prior to his appointment, he served as the Workforce Policy Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce, in Washington, D.C.  In that capacity, he provided advice and counsel to the Committee Chairman on a variety of workforce-related issues, including health care reform, employer-sponsored health and pension benefits, employment law, and labor relations.  Previously, he served as a member of the majority professional staff on the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, responsible for oversight and legislation in various health care-related areas, including the Medicare hospital benefit, health insurance, and health care quality improvement.

Mr. Serafin was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department from 2002 to 2004, and was Chief Counsel to the Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund from 1999 to 2002.  Mr. Serafin has worked on a variety of civil and criminal legal matters as an appellate court law clerk and an associate attorney in a private law practice.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in International Politics from The Pennsylvania State University in 1989 and his Juris Doctor from The Dickinson School of Law in 1992, where he was an Associate Editor for the Dickinson Journal of International Law.  He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. 

Kenneth J. Serafin

Department of Revenue

Gretchen S. Wisehart
Chief Counsel

Gretchen Sprigg Wisehart has been appointed as Chief Counsel to the Department of Revenue in April of 2014.  Prior to her appointment, she served as Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel from July of 2013, overseeing transactional and regulatory matters for departments and agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction. In her role as Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Wisehart functioned as liaison to the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of the Budget, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, the State Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.
 
Ms. Wisehart spent thirteen years in private practice, primarily in the Philadelphia offices of large, multi-state law firms, and most recently at the firm of Nachmias Morris & Alt, P.C., where she was responsible for a wide variety of business transactions, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate matters.  Ms. Wisehart served as corporate counsel to non-profit corporations and was involved in all aspects of corporate governance, corporate finance, bond financing and bank financing, with a special emphasis on tax-exempt finance transactions.  She also brings experience in the areas of exempt securities and Regulation D offerings, entity formation, stock option plans and shareholder agreements as well as intellectual property licensing agreements, Federal and state income taxation matters including tax exempt, S Corporations and partnerships.  She has counseled clients on real estate matters, including the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties, commercial leasing and real estate financing.  Ms. Wisehart has worked on public/private partnership (P3) projects and has served as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and borrower’s counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. 

Ms. Wisehart received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law.  While in law school, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Charles Weiner of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and a law clerk to Joseph Torregrossa, Program Director for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Federal Mediation Program.  She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick Leahy of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Gretchen Sprigg Wisehart

Department of State

Kevin P. Schmidt 
Chief Counsel

Kevin P. Schmidt was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Department of State in January of 2014.  Prior to his appointment, he served as Executive Deputy Chief Counsel with the Department of State, managing the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs legal department from November 2013 to January 2014.  Before transferring to the Department of State, Mr. Schmidt served as a Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel from May 2012 through November 2013.  During his time as a Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Schmidt was a member of the Litigation Practice Group and Transactional Practice Group where he handled a wide array of litigation and transactions for the Governor and the many Commonwealth agencies.  In addition to those practice groups, Mr. Schmidt also served as liaison counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Public Welfare, and the Department of Transportation.  Mr. Schmidt also sat as a designee of the General Counsel on the Board of Finance and Revenue, where he presided over tax appeal matters.  In addition to those duties, Mr. Schmidt also acted as the Governor’s Office liaison to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, the Delaware River Port Authority, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

Mr. Schmidt spent twelve years in private practice prior to joining the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.  In private practice, Mr. Schmidt devoted the majority of his time to handling complex litigation matters in jurisdictions throughout the United States and to counseling business clients in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey.  As a result of the dedicated service he provided to his clients, Mr. Schmidt was honored to be selected by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer rising star in the years 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Mr. Schmidt has also dedicated his time serving the community throughout his career in leadership roles as a Board Member for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member for the Stewards Alliance for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and an active member of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals. 

Mr. Schmidt is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey.  Mr. Schmidt earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware.  During law school, Mr. Schmidt served as a volunteer law clerk for Superior Court Senior Judge, Honorable James J. Fitzgerald, III.  After graduating from Widener, Mr. Schmidt served as a law clerk for the Honorable William R. Carpenter, of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.  Mr. Schmidt earned his undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College and was a member and team captain of the Gettysburg College Varsity football team, earning First Team All-Conference accolades as a linebacker in 1994. 

Mr. Schmidt resides in North Wales, Pennsylvania with his wife, Megan, and their children. 

Kevin P. Schmidt 

State Employees' Retirement System

Victoria Page-Wooten 
Chief Counsel

Victoria (“Tory”) Page-Wooten was appointed as Chief Counsel at the State Employees’ Retirement System in June of 2014.  Previously, she served as the Acting Chief Counsel for the State Employees’ Retirement System from July of 2013.  She joined the Office of General Counsel in April, 2011 as Executive Deputy General Counsel. In addition to overseeing transactional and regulatory matters for departments and agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, Ms. Page-Wooten serves as co-designee of the General Counsel to the Board of Finance and Revenue and the Board of Property. In addition, she serves as Chair of the Office of General Counsel’s Transactions Practice Group. Ms. Page-Wooten currently serves as liaison counsel to the Department of Banking, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Revenue, the Governor’s Office of the Budget, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.

Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Ms. Page-Wooten was in private practice in Philadelphia for most of her career with the law firm of Pelino & Lentz, P.C. (now called Archer & Greiner, P.C.), where she handled a broad range of contract, corporate and partnership matters and business transactions including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, real estate acquisitions and loan transactions for clients, including a multinational company headquartered in suburban Philadelphia for which she handled domestic and international financing transactions, acquisitions and joint ventures. She has also acted as bond counsel and as underwriter’s counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. Ms. Page-Wooten has served on the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and has chaired its Securities Regulation Subcommittee. She is a graduate of Emory University, Emory University School of Law, and the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA – Finance).

  Victoria Page-Wooten

Pennsylvania State Police

Scott R. Ford 
Chief Counsel

Scott Ford was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania State Police in July of 2012.  Prior to his appointment, Mr. Ford served 13 years on active duty in the U.S. Army, first as an Infantry Officer and later as a Judge Advocate.  As a Judge Advocate, Mr. Ford’s duty assignments included:  Chief of Operational Law, Baghdad, Iraq; Administrative Law Attorney, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Trial Counsel, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Trial Counsel and Capital Prosecutor, Fort Stewart, Georgia; and Chief of Military Justice, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  As an Infantry Officer, Mr. Ford’s duty assignments included:  Rifle Platoon Leader, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Support Platoon Leader, Kandahar, Afghanistan; and Assistant Operations Officer, Baghdad, Iraq.

A native of Mars, Pennsylvania, Scott Ford is a graduate of West Point and the University of Texas School of Law.  Mr. Ford is also a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, and Ranger Schools as well as both the Infantry and Judge Advocate Officer Basic Courses.  Mr. Ford has completed three combat deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.  In addition to serving as the Chief Counsel for the State Police, Mr. Ford will also serve as a Major in the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Scott R. Ford 

State System of Higher Education

Andrew C. Lehman  
Chief Counsel

Andrew C. Lehman was appointed Chief Counsel at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) in March 2014, after having served as Acting Chief Counsel at PASSHE since July 2013.

Representing PASSHE since 2004, Mr. Lehman’s prior responsibilities primarily included providing legal counsel to the human resources and labor relations divisions of PASSHE Universities as well as the Office of the Chancellor.  He also served as a management negotiator in collective bargaining.  Additionally, he handled grievance arbitrations and represented PASSHE before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
 
Before joining OGC, Mr. Lehman spent more than three years as a litigator with a small Harrisburg law firm.  His practice was primarily concentrated in the area of civil litigation.  Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Lehman was the Executive Deputy Prosecutor in the Crimes Against Children Unit in the York County District Attorney's Office, where he was responsible for prosecuting felony and misdemeanor child physical and sexual abuse cases.

Mr. Lehman is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  He received his undergraduate degree, with highest distinction, from the Pennsylvania State University and graduated cum laude from the Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
 
A native of York County, Mr. Lehman now resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife, Jill, and their five sons.

Andrew Lehman

Department of Transportation

William J. Cressler 
Chief Counsel

William J. Cressler was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Department of Transportation in July of 2012.  Prior to that appointment Mr. Cressler served as Acting Chief Counsel for the Department of Transportation since May of 2012.  He was Assistant Chief Counsel of the Department of Transportation’s Real Property Division, beginning in that capacity in March of 1989.  From August 1987 through March 1989, Bill was the Assistant Counsel-in-Charge of the Department of Transportation’s Right of Way Section, having started as an Assistant Counsel for that Section in September 1980.  He had clerkships with the Honorable William P. Breene, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the 28th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and the Honorable Keith B. Quigley, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the 41st Judicial District of Pennsylvania. 

Bill received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in 1976, where he was captain of the wrestling team, and his juris doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law in 1979.  Bill is married and the father of a daughter and son in their twenties.

William Cressler