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OGC Main Office Attorneys

Rodney R. Akers 
Deputy General Counsel
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
 


Rodney R. Akers was appointed Deputy General Counsel in November 2007.  His chief administrative responsibilities involve managing business and technology aspects of the Office of General Counsel.  Mr. Akers supervises and coordinates OGC’s hiring committee, professional responsibility training initiatives, and intern/extern programs.  He is responsible for OGC’s law practice management, legal technology, and risk management initiatives, as well as overall management of outside counsel who perform legal services for OGC agency offices, including those firms who have been qualified to serve as bond counsel in Commonwealth matters. 

Mr. Akers’ principal areas of legal expertise are in information technology, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, electronic discovery and contracts.  He has spoken and written on numerous subjects including social media, telecommunications, utility deregulation, and outside counsel management.  Before joining the Commonwealth, Mr. Akers worked in the private sector, then for the public, most recently serving in a unique dual capacity as Deputy Director of the City of Pittsburgh’s information resources department, as well as Special Counsel to the City’s Department of Law for technology, regulatory, and complex contract matters.
 
Mr. Akers is Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, where he teaches courses as part of that institution’s certificate program in Intellectual Property & Technology Law.  A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Akers served as law clerk to the Honorable John R. Hargrove, Sr. on the United States District Court in Maryland.  He received his bachelor of arts with honors from the University of Virginia. 

Rodney R. Akers


Linda C. Barrett 
Deputy General Counsel

Linda C. Barrett was appointed as Senior Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in August 2012. Prior to her appointment as Senior Deputy, she served as a Deputy General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, having been appointed to that position in September 2003 and reappointed in January 2011. In addition to her varied responsibilities to the General Counsel, Ms. Barrett’s practice concentrates on complex litigation as well as administrative law and labor and employment law, in addition to general litigation matters for a variety of agencies. She serves as OGC’s liaison to the Governor’s Office of Administration, the Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and several independent agencies.

During her extensive public service career, Ms. Barrett has served OGC in multiple roles as the first Chief Hearing Officer for OGC’s Hearing Officer Program, as the former Chief Counsel to the Departments of State and Education, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board.  She has been active in various internal and external practice groups most recently serving as a member of the Administrative Law Working Group formed by the Joint State Government Commission to examine the recodification of Pennsylvania’s Administrative Agency Law. Ms. Barrett has served as a speaker on a number of CLE topics for the Pennsylvania Bar Association and OGC University including trial practice, administrative law, electronic discovery and records management and labor and employment issues.

From 1989 to January 2000, Ms. Barrett served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General practicing extensively in state and federal court handling complex litigation and class actions, EEOC filings, Title VII, the ADA, ADEA, Civil Rights Act, EPA, prisoner civil rights actions, and other actions filed against the Commonwealth and its officers. Before joining the Commonwealth, Ms. Barrett was a Captain in the United States Air Force in the Judge Advocate General’s Department.

Ms. Barrett is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the New York Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Ms. Barrett is also a certified mediator for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Barrett is a magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

Linda C. Barrett


Sean M. Concannon 
Deputy General Counsel

Sean M. Concannon is a Deputy General Counsel with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to his general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Sean also serves as liaison counsel to the Commonwealth’s Departments of Human Services, Labor and Industry, Insurance and Revenue. Sean is also a member of OGC’s litigation group and Chair of the OGC Litigation Practice Committee. His practice includes litigation on behalf of various executive agencies and the Governor’s office.

Sean has also served as an Assistant Counsel with several Commonwealth agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to his employment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Sean was an associate attorney with a prominent Hershey law firm. There, Sean’s practice included civil litigation in administrative tribunals, federal practice in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, county courts of common pleas and the appellate courts.  Sean is also experienced in real estate transactional work, as a former licensee with the Commonwealth for real estate title insurance work, and business organization/planning work for commercial clients. 

Sean received his bachelor’s degree in Government and Law from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1993. Following the creation, development and eventual sale of a small business in Central Pennsylvania, Sean enrolled in law school. He received his law degree in 2007 from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, where he was a member of the Penn State Law Review and the Woolsack Honor Society.  

Sean M. Concannon

Anne Gingrich Cornick 
Deputy General Counsel

Anne Gingrich Cornick was appointed Deputy General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in March 2015.  Her chief responsibilities encompass all criminal legal issues at OGC and she serves as the primary contact for all law enforcement agencies.  She serves as liaison counsel to the Judicial Conduct Board, the Juvenile Court Judges Commission, the Criminal Law Division of the Office of Attorney General, the Office of Homeland Security, the Office of Inspector General, the Office  of State Fire Commissioner, the Department of Corrections, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Board of Pardons, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.  Anne is also Chair of the Criminal Justice Practice Group.
 
Anne came to OGC after many years as a criminal defense attorney in both state and Federal jurisdictions.  She has represented individuals, including a large indigent client base, at every level of the criminal justice system, and her extensive trial experience has been comprised of charges ranging from DUIs, drug offenses, assaults, and homicides.  She has also served as counsel in civil litigation cases involving family law, custody law, wills and estates, professional licensure law, and evolving civil proceedings concerning SORNA legislation.  Anne has a strong background in direct and collateral appellate work, and served as the Chief Deputy Public Defender of the Appellate Division in Dauphin County, where she first began her legal career.

Anne has served as an adjunct professor in constitutional and criminal law at Central Penn College, an instructor at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, and a guest lecturer at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.  She received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law where she was a Presidential Scholarship in Law Recipient and a Texas Law Fellow.  Prior to attending law school she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer leading community health programs in Luapula Province, Zambia. She holds a B.A. from Boston University College Honor’s Program, summa cum laude.  Anne lives in the city of Harrisburg with her husband, Sean, and their daughter. 

Anne Gingrich Cornick

Jessica A. Diaz 
Deputy General Counsel

Jessica A. Diaz was appointed Deputy General Counsel in March 2015.  In addition to serving the General Counsel as needed, Jessica’s primary responsibilities include overseeing the management and processing of over 7,000 annual requests for copies of public records submitted to all Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.  Jessica also serves as liaison counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Governor’s Correspondence Unit, and the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records.

Jessica’s legal career has been a rich mixture of both private practice and public service.  She began as an associate in a minority-owned boutique law firm in Philadelphia whose clients included The Philadelphia Tribune and The Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Beginning in 2000, Jessica joined the Mayor’s Office in the City of Philadelphia where she worked to help launch several executive initiatives all designed to engage and enhance collaboration among several governmental agencies, local and state politicians and diverse communities that often had competing interests.  Over the years, these included the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative to reduce urban blight, the Shared Services Task Force to identify efficiencies and strategic partnerships among and between City departments, other governmental agencies and the private sector, and the development and implementation of a strategic planning and performance measurement system that is still in use today by The Philadelphia Housing Authority. 

Starting in 2008, Jessica served as the Open Records Officer for The School District of Philadelphia where she routinely processed over 250 records requests a year singlehandedly. In her dual role as an Assistant General Counsel, Jessica’s other responsibilities also included the management of internal noncriminal investigations and those of high level agency officials.  Here, Jessica worked alongside the agency’s Inspector General, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and outside legal counsel to identify and prosecute fraud, theft, and corruption, ethical violations and educator misconduct. 

Jessica’s story is truly the achievement of the American Dream, and is a product of a good solid public education.  Her early life was inauspicious.  Raised by a single mother along with two younger sisters in a New York City public housing development, Jessica was a gifted student with a strong work ethic mimicking that of her mother working part-time jobs since the age of 14.  Holding a full time job during the day and attending school at night, Jessica was the first in her entire immediate and extended family to attend college.  After graduating college with honors and a dual major, Jessica received her law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1995 and made Philadelphia her home away from home. 

Jessica Diaz

John K. Lavelle 
Deputy General Counsel

Biography and Portrait are forthcoming.

Marisa G. Z. Lehr 
Deputy General Counsel

Marisa G. Z. Lehr was appointed as Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in March 2015.  In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Marisa serves as legal counsel to the State Board of Education.  Marisa also serves as OGC’s liaison counsel to the Office of the First Lady, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.  Additionally, Marisa serves as the General Counsel’s designee on the Pennsylvania delegation of the Uniform Law Commission, and she is also a member of OGC’s hiring committee.

Marisa comes to OGC from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG), Civil Law Division, Litigation Section where she served as a Deputy Attorney General, providing legal representation to Commonwealth agencies, officials, and employees in a wide variety of litigation matter on both state and federal court.  During her time at OAG, Marisa also assisted Special Deputy Attorney General H. Geoffrey Moulton, Jr. in his review of and report on the handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation by the Office of Attorney General, other law enforcement agencies, and child protective services.  Prior to her employment with OAG, Marisa served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Thomas G. Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Marisa received her bachelor of science in business administration, summa cum laude, from Robert Morris University in 2008.  During her time at Robert Morris, Marisa was a member of the University’s Division-I field hockey team.  Marisa received her juris doctor, summa cum laude, from Widener University School of Law in 2012, graduating as the valedictorian of her class.  While at Widener, Marisa was a member of the Widener Law Journal, a Widener Scholar, and the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Award.

Marisa G. Z. Lehr

H. Geoffrey Moulton, Jr. 
Deputy General Counsel

Deputy General Counsel Geoff Moulton joined the Office of General Counsel in January 2015.  He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the office under the direction of the General Counsel.

Geoff has spent the majority of his legal career in public service.  He was a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for eight years, including four years as First Assistant U.S. Attorney.  He has also served in Washington, D.C., as Chief Counsel to United States Senator Ted Kaufman (Delaware), as Chief of Staff and Deputy Special Inspector General for the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and, in 1993, as Project Director for the Treasury Department’s review of the failed ATF raid on the Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas.  Most recently, as a Special Deputy Attorney General, he reviewed and reported on the handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, other law enforcement agencies, and child protective services.

Geoff is also an emeritus professor at Widener University School of Law in Delaware.  He received a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  Following graduation from law school, Geoff clerked for Wilfred Feinberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for William H. Rehnquist on the United States Supreme Court.

Geoffrey Moulton

Erin Osevala 
Deputy General Counsel

Erin J. Osevala was appointed Deputy General Counsel with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in July 2015.  In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel and as a member of OGC’s litigation group, Erin focuses on appellate practice on behalf of all executive agencies and the Governor’s Office.
 
Erin comes to OGC from the Department of Transportation, Office of Chief Counsel (OCC), where she served as an Assistant Counsel in the Executive and General Law Divisions.  While a member of the Executive Division, Erin’s practice included administrative law, employment law, litigation and appellate practice, including assisting the Chief Counsel with appellate strategy and drafting and reviewing appellate briefs.  Most recently as a member of the General Law Division, Erin’s practice focused on the Right to Know Law, transactional matters, drafting and reviewing contracts for form and legality, and providing legal counsel to the recently created Multimodal Transportation Deputate addressing issues involving local and area transportation, aviation, rail freight, and ports and waterways.  During her time with OCC, Erin also served as a Department Hearing Officer where she presided over administrative docket appeals related to varying and novel highway occupancy, motor vehicle and driver license issues and procurement protests.  Prior to her employment with OCC, Erin served as Deputy Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Renée Cohn Jubelirer of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania from 2004-2011, where she drafted opinions and performed extensive legal research and analysis of complex issues related to nearly every executive agency under the Governor’s jurisdiction.
   
Erin received her bachelor of science, magna cum laude, from West Chester University in 2001 and her juris doctor, cum laude, from Widener University School of Law in Delaware in 2004.  Erin resides in Lebanon County with her husband and two daughters.

Erin Osevala

Tyrone A. Powell 
Deputy General Counsel

Tyrone A. Powell was appointed as Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel in April of 2015.  Mr. Powell has more than twenty-five (25) years of experience representing retailers, developers, public authorities and universities in complex real estate transactions and public-private partnerships.  That experience includes the sale and acquisition of commercial real estate in over fifteen (15) states; retail, warehouse and commercial office space leasing; commercial development and demolition.  Tyrone has also negotiated and prepared urban redevelopment agreements for a $1.0 billion automobile plant and a $1.1 billion engine plant.  Each of these projects involved the acquisition of over two hundred fifty (250) acres of land, the removal of  over one thousand (1,000) unregistered underground storage tanks, the remediation of contaminated soils, and the relocation of businesses, streets and rail yards.  He also participated in a $55 million marina, restaurant and housing development as well as a $500 million leverage lease transaction.

Tyrone is active in the work of state and county bar associations.  He is the President of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. Active in the Dauphin County Bar as a former board member and the Keystone Bar as a past president, he currently chairs the Keystone Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Committee and serves on its Executive Committee.  He lectures in real estate practice programs for the county bar.  Tyrone is also a member of the Michigan and Texas Bars.

In 2015, Tyrone was honored to receive the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for public service.  In 2006, he was the recipient of the Dauphin County Bar Association’s Judge Clarence Morrison Award for dedication to promoting diversity within the profession.  He serves as Secretary for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.  Tyrone was formerly a shareholder of Powell Law, a partner of Mahomes Bolden and an associate counsel for Rite Aid Corporation.

Tyrone Powell

Shawn E. Smith  
Deputy General Counsel

Shawn E. Smith was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel for Transactions in June 2014.  In that capacity, Mr. Smith oversees transactional and regulatory practice for the executive agencies.  He also reviews and approves agency contracts and regulations for form and legality and advises executive agencies on policies and procedures.  Mr. Smith works to establish executive agency legal policies relating to government contracting, procurement and regulations.  He serves as the liaison to such agencies as the Governor’s Office of the Budget, SERS, PSERS and the Department of Banking and Securities.  Mr. Smith also serves as the General Counsel’s designee in various program areas such as the former Board of Finance and Revenue and the Contractor Responsibility Program.  Mr. Smith frequently speaks on matters relating to government contracting, procurement and the regulatory review process both inside and outside of OGC.  Prior to his appointment to Executive Deputy, Mr. Smith served as Deputy General Counsel for Regulatory and Transactional Affairs since June 2012.

Mr. Smith began his career with OGC as a prosecutor with the Department of State in 2005.  In that capacity, he handled professional licensure prosecutions, including cases before the State Boards of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, Veterinary Medicine and Funeral Directors.  Mr. Smith has also received a commendation from the Governor and Secretary of the Commonwealth for his efforts in shutting down a series of funeral homes that were selling body parts to medical suppliers.

Prior to joining the Department of State, Mr. Smith was an associate with the law firm of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer, LLP, engaging in defense litigation including professional liability defense, civil rights and construction. He has practiced before administrative agencies, state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as panels of arbitration and mediation. He is also the former judicial clerk to the Honorable Louis J. Farina of the Court of Common Pleas for Lancaster County, and has previously worked for the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Smith has also been published in several periodicals and has taught several continuing legal education courses on litigation, procedure, trial tactics, government contracting and regulatory matters.  Mr. Smith has served as a visiting judge and lecturer for the Dickinson School of Law and Widener University School of Law mock trial and advocacy programs. Mr. Smith is admitted to practice before the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is an honors graduate from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in History and in Legal Studies and from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. He lives in the Harrisburg area with his wife, Carole, and his daughter.

Shawn E. Smith

Gregory C. Thall 
Deputy General Counsel

Gregory Thall was appointed as a Deputy General Counsel in January of 2015. As Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs, Greg is responsible for all correspondence and interaction with the General Assembly.  Greg is responsible for drafting bills, amendments and everything else that is submitted to the legislature.  Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel Greg served as Deputy Chief Counsel for Senate Appropriations for Senator Vincent Hughes.  In this capacity, Greg advised the committee on areas ranging from education to transportation.  While serving the Senate, the Senator granted Greg a leave of absence to serve as a Senior Transition Advisor to Governor Wolf’s Transition Team.  As a Senior Transition Advisor, Greg was responsible for teams of people to prepare the incoming administration on nine different agencies or policy areas.

Prior to serving Senator Hughes, Greg was Assistant Director of Government Relations for Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) where he worked helping to protect the member’s interests in the financial recovery law as well as teacher evaluations.  Prior to PSEA Greg worked for then Governor Rendell in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel as a legislative counsel dealing with complex legislative issues from rewriting the dog law, to crafting the current film tax credit program, updating the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards, and various financing programs.

Greg is an avid skier, holding PSIA level three-certification and has previously operated as a licensed cab driver in a city of first class. Greg graduated from Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, received a BA in Government from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs NY, and his J.D. from the Villanova University School of law. Greg currently resides in Hampden Township with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

Gregory Thall