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OGC Main Office Attorneys

Rodney R. Akers
Senior Deputy General Counsel
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
 


Rodney R. Akers was appointed Senior Deputy General Counsel in June 2014; he has served as Deputy General Counsel since 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
Senior Deputy General Counsel

Linda C. Barrett was appointed as Senior Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in August 2013.  Prior to her appointment as Senior Deputy, she served as a Deputy General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Linda’s practice within OGC concentrates on litigation matters for a variety of agencies. She also serves as a hearing officer and the OGC contact person for the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Linda has served as the former Chief Counsel to the Departments of State and Education and has co-chaired the Federal Practice group and chaired the trial practice subcommittees of that practice group and the State Practice group. From 1989 to January 2000, Ms. Barrett served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General. In that office, she practiced 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.

Between 1987 and 1989, she served as Chief Counsel at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board. Before joining the Commonwealth, Ms. Barrett was a Captain in the United States Air Force in the Judge Advocate General’s Department serving as Area Defense Counsel from 1985 to 1987. From 1983 to 1985, she served as Assistant Chief of Civil and Administrative Law, then as Chief of Military Justice.

Ms. Barrett is a continuing legal education instructor, and has served as an evaluator for the trial advocacy programs at Dickinson School of Law and Widener University School of Law. Ms. Barrett has served as a consultant to the Vermont, Louisiana, and Ohio Offices of Attorneys General on complex class action prison litigation. Ms. Barrett served as a member of the Middle District of Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Advisory Committee from 1998 to 2000.

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 and Middle District 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 earned her Bachelor of Arts, graduating magna cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1979. Ms. Barrett earned her juris doctor in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

Linda C. Barrett


Nicole M. Bordonaro
Executive Deputy General Counsel

Nicole M. Bordonaro was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs in August 2012.  Ms. Bordonaro most recently served as the Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs within the main office of OGC. In her role as Executive Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Bordonaro serves as counsel to the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs and the Governor’s Policy Office on all legislative matters.  In tandem with her legislative responsibilities, Ms. Bordonaro serves as liaison counsel to the Department of General Services.  Ms. Bordonaro also serves as the General Counsel’s designee to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (Pennsylvania Delegation), and to the Joint Committee on Documents (Chair).

Previous to Ms. Bordonaro's appointment she was employed by the Governor's Office of General Counsel, Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel. Her primary areas of concentration at the Department of Education were legislation, litigation and school finance. In addition, Ms. Bordonaro created the Civics Education Alliance, a partnership between OGC and the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA).  Prior to entering law school, Ms. Bordonaro was employed by the Pittsburgh based public affairs firm, William J. Green & Associates.  Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Bordonaro was employed with the Pennsylvania Senate; as Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; and as a law clerk to the Honorable Bernard L. McGinley, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Bordonaro serves as a mediator for OGC's Dispute Resolution program, was appointed the 2012-2013 Chair of the PBA's Administrative Law Section, and received a "Pro-Bono Award" from the PBA in 2010. Ms. Bordonaro is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the James S. Bowman American Inns of Court, the Commonwealth Court Historical Society, the OGC Hiring Committee and has served as a lecturer and presenter for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Ms. Bordonaro received the 2011 "Governor's Office of General Counsel's Award for Excellence, Energy and Enthusiasm" for her dedication and service to the Commonwealth. Ms. Bordonaro received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a juris doctor degree from the Widener University School of Law (cum laude, Widener Scholar).

Nicole M. Bordonaro


Sean M. Concannon
Deputy General Counsel

Sean M. Concannon is a Deputy General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to his general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Sean also serves as liaison counsel to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Welfare. Sean is also a member of OGC’s litigation group and his practice includes litigation on behalf of various executive agencies and the Governor’s office. 

Prior to his appointment in 2014, Sean served as an Assistant Counsel with the Department of Transportation, where he handled matters related to the Department’s statewide acquisition program, as well as litigation of complex eminent domain cases throughout various state courts. Prior to his employment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Sean was an associate attorney with the Hershey law firm of James, Smith, Dietterick & Connelly, LLP. 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’s practice also included real estate transactional work, including acting as a licensee with the Commonwealth for real estate title insurance work, and business organization/planning work for commercial clients. Sean began his legal career at the law firm of Mette, Evans and Woodside, in the firm’s real estate and litigation practice groups.

Sean received his bachelor’s degree in Government and Law from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1993. 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


Carolyn A. DeLaurentis
Deputy General Counsel

Carolyn DeLaurentis was appointed Deputy General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in July 2014.  Ms. DeLaurentis serves as liaison counsel to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Office of the Coordinator for the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority, and Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

 

Ms. DeLaurentis came to OGC from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she served as an Assistant District Attorney since 2012.  She was a major trials prosecutor and handled numerous felony cases including: attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, violations of the Uniform Firearms Act, and drug distribution cases.  Prior to working at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Ms. DeLaurentis worked at the Chester County District Attorney’s Office from 2009 to 2012.  At the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases and assisted in criminal investigations in conjunction with law enforcement.  She has tried twenty jury trials in the Chester County and Philadelphia County Courts of Common Pleas.

 

Ms. DeLaurentis received her Juris doctor in 2009 from Temple University Beasley School of Law where she was a Barrister Award Winner for Trial Advocacy and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.  She also served as an intern to the Honorable Jeffrey P. Minehart, Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County.  Ms. DeLaurentis obtained her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in Criminal Justice from Temple University in 2005.

Carolyn A. DeLaurentis 
 


Gregory E. Dunlap
Executive Deputy General Counsel

Gregory E. Dunlap was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel for Litigation in January 2013.  He has served continuously as a Deputy General Counsel with the Office of General Counsel for over 25 years, having been first appointed in March 1989.  Greg served as OGC’s sole Executive Deputy General Counsel from 1993 to 1995 and was head of litigation for OGC’s management committee from 1998 to 2003.

In addition to his general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Greg serves as legal counsel to the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Office of Public Liaison, and as the General Counsel’s chief ethics advisor.

During his tenure at OGC, Greg has served at varying times as acting chief counsel for the Department of State, the Department of Education and the Department of Banking.

From 1985 to 1989, Greg was a member of the Philadelphia-based international law firm of Cozen O’Connor.  From 1983 to 1985, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Donald E. Wieand, a judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Greg served as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners from 1999 to 2005, as well as chair (2004-2005) and vice-chair (2002-2004).

Greg received his bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 and his juris doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1983.  He is a native of Indiana County and currently resides in Dauphin County.

Gregory E. Dunlap


Delene R. Lantz-Johnson 
Deputy General Counsel 

Delene R. Lantz-Johnson was appointed to Deputy General Counsel of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel in June 2012. Currently, she works with the Office of General Counsel’s litigation practice group and is the Right to Know Law coordinator for the Office of General Counsel.  Ms. Lantz-Johnson serves as the Records Legal Liaison for the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Office of the Receiver and as Chair of the Office of General Counsel’s Records Access and Management/Right To Know Law Practice Group.  In addition, she coordinates the implementation of all executive orders for the commonwealth agencies and the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning, Senior Staff to the Governor and the Governor’s Office of Public Liaison.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Lantz-Johnson served as Assistant Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel since June of 2011 where she worked under the Litigation practice group on a variety of agency issues and in the Criminal justice practice group on capital cases and as the liaison for the Board of Pardons.  Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, she worked for the Pennsylvania Judiciary where she served as a law clerk to the Honorable P. Kevin Brobson of the Commonwealth Court, Senior Judge Keith B. Quigley of the Commonwealth Court, and President Judge Kathy A. Morrow of the 41st Judicial District.
  
Before her employment with the Commonwealth, Ms. Lantz-Johnson worked as a high school art teacher with the Big Spring School District.  Ms. Lantz-Johnson continues her support of the local arts through her work as a board member with the Perry County Council of the Arts.

Ms. Lantz-Johnson is a graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College (Assoc. Degree Liberal Arts), Millersville University (B.S. Art Education), and of Widener University School of Law (J.D.).  While in law school Ms. Lantz-Johnson participated in the Law and Government certification program and served as a legal intern with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.  Ms. Lantz-Johnson is also a graduate of the Educational Policy Leadership Center’s Institute for Community leadership in Education program. 
 

Delene R. Lantz-Johnson


Carol J. Mowery
Deputy General Counsel

Carol J. Mowery was appointed Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs in October 2012.  Ms. Mowery serves as counsel to the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs and the Governor’s Policy Office on legislative matters, including drafting and legal review of proposed legislation. 

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mowery was employed by the Department of Labor and Industry, Office of Chief Counsel, for nearly sixteen years, spending over fourteen of those years as counsel to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (UCBR).  Ms. Mowery’s main duties as assistant counsel to the UCBR included reviewing unemployment compensation appeals, drafting UCBR decisions, drafting Commonwealth and Supreme Court briefs, representing the UCBR at oral argument, and reviewing and analyzing proposed legislation.  In her capacity as assistant chief counsel to the UCBR, Ms. Mowery supervised six attorneys and one paralegal.  During her tenure at Labor and Industry, Ms. Mowery also served as special counsel to the Secretary of Labor and Industry, reviewing appeals pending before the Secretary, preparing decisions and orders for the Secretary’s signature, and providing counsel on numerous substantive legal issues.  Ms. Mowery began her legal career as a law clerk with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.

Ms. Mowery earned her law degree from the Widener University School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Clarion University.  Ms. Mowery is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and currently serves as Chair to the Government Lawyers Committee. 

Carol J. Mowery 


Tawny Mummah
Deputy General Counsel 
 

Tawny K. Mummah was appointed Deputy General Counsel in May 2012.  In this role, she is counsel to the newly formed Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and to the Patient Safety Authority.  She is a member of the litigation practice group and serves as liaison counsel to the Department of Health, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Board of Pardons, and PEMA.  A veteran OGC attorney, Tawny was Department Counsel for the Department of Insurance for nearly ten years.  In this capacity, she was responsible for handling litigation on behalf of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (Mcare) before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.  In addition, Tawny provided advice and counsel, concerning agency functions such as policy decisions, statutory coverage determinations, and all aspects of medical malpractice claims handling.  From 1999-2002, she served as Assistant Counsel to Mcare’s predecessor, the Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund.

Tawny received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Marshall University in 1993 and her Juris Doctor from the Widener University School of Law in 1998.  She resides in Juniata County with her husband, Ken, and their three children. 

Tawny Mummah



Christine Wechsler Rayer  
Executive Deputy General Counsel

Christine Wechsler Rayer was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in May 2014.  Prior to her appointment as Executive Deputy, she served as Deputy General Counsel from February 2013. Her primary responsibilities encompass all criminal legal issues at OGC and she serves as the primary contact with law enforcement agencies. Christine is also Chair of the Criminal Justice Practice Group. In partnership, she also serves as liaison counsel to the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Criminal Law Division of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Office of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Judicial Conduct Board, the Juvenile Court Judges Commission, and the Office of State Fire Commissioner.

Christine came to OGC from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she served as an Assistant District Attorney since 2002. In 2008, she was appointed to the District Attorney’s Homicide Unit and prosecuted capital and felony murder cases as both jury and bench trials. Christine also conducted complex grand jury investigations. Prior to that, Christine was a major trials prosecutor and handled numerous felony cases including attempted murder, drug distribution, robbery, and burglary cases. She has tried over fifty criminal jury trials to verdict on behalf of the Commonwealth. In 2011, Christine was appointed to serve as the legislative liaison to the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and became the Assistant Chief of the Legislation and Policy Unit. In this capacity she represented all of the statewide elected District Attorneys before the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 

Christine received her juris doctor in 2002 from Temple University Beasley School of Law where she served as President of the Moot Court Honor Society and received the Samuel Polsky Scholarship for outstanding oral advocacy in competition. She also served as intern to the Honorable James R. Melinson, Chief Magistrate for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Christine attended College of the Holy Cross, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Classics in 1999. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Tim, and their four children. 

Christine Wechsler Rayer



Shawn E. Smith 
Executive 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


Catharine E. Thurston
Deputy General Counsel

Catharine E. Thurston was appointed Deputy General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in April 2014.  She serves as liaison counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Thurston served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.  For more than nine years, Ms. Thurston worked as a trial attorney, handling dozens of jury trials and specializing in the prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse cases.  She handled hundreds of cases from the investigative stages through trial and sentencing, and prosecuted many notable cases, high-profile defendants, and serial rapists.  In addition, she led the office’s Elder Justice Program, to support the specialized prosecutions of crimes against the elderly.

In 2012, Ms. Thurston was appointed the Assistant Chief of the Legislation and Policy Unit.  In that capacity, she acted as a legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.  On behalf of the Philadelphia District Attorneys Office and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, she drafted and promoted legislation to benefit law enforcement and crime victims.  Ms. Thurston’s legislative work included assisting with the implementation of the recommendations of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Task Force on Child Protection and changes and updates to Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Ms. Thurston was a frequent presenter for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute and a guest faculty member for AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women.  In 2013, Ms. Thurston was appointed a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Elder Law Task Force.

Ms. Thurston received her Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.  At Penn, Ms. Thurston was a member of the women’s fencing team and studied in Athens, Greece.  She remains active in Penn’s alumni community and is a member of the Secondary School Admissions Committee.  Ms. Thurston received her Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law, where she concentrated her studies in international and comparative law, including coursework at the University of Florence in Italy.  While at Dickinson, Ms. Thurston was a member of Dickinson’s Trial Moot Court Board, an editor of the Environmental Law Review, and legal intern at the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts.

Catharine E. Thurston