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Agency Chief Counsel



Governor's Office of Administration

Sandra Stoner 
Chief Counsel

Sandra Stoner was appointed in January 2019 as Chief Counsel for the Office of Administration (OA), the agency which provides statewide direction on information technology, human resources, merit hiring and continuity of government to agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction.  Preceding her appointment, Ms. Stoner served as a contract Hearing Officer for the Office of General Counsel's (OGC) outside Hearing Officer Program.  Before becoming an OGC Hearing Officer, Ms. Stoner served in OGC as a Deputy General Counsel with primary responsibilities overseeing employment, personnel and ethics matters and acted as liaison and legal counsel to a variety of agencies.  Prior to joining OGC, Sandra was a Senior Deputy Attorney General in Pennsylvania's Office of Attorney General, Civil Law Division, Litigation Section, where, among other things, she provided legal representation to Commonwealth agencies, officials and employees in a variety of litigations in federal and state court.  Prior to that, she was an Assistant Counsel at PennDOT.  Before that, Sandra was an associate in a small law practice in Harrisburg.

Sandra received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Franklin and Marshall College and her Juris Doctorate from Dickinson School of Law.



Neeka JonesDepartment of Aging

Neeka Jones
Chief Counsel 

Neeka Jones was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in April 2015. Prior to her appointment, she served as Special Counsel and Assistant to the Chair of the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee. During her tenure with the Office of State Senator Vincent Hughes, she served as Chief Minority Counsel/Executive Director to the Public Health & Welfare Committee and as Legislative Director and Counsel. From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Jones was Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the Pennsylvania Health Care Association where she played a key role in the development of regulations for governance of assisted living facilities throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Early in her career, Ms. Jones worked with the largest utility company in Southern California and with two small law firms in Southern California, one of which subsequently merged with Pillsbury Winthrop, LLC. Ms. Jones has federal experience gained working as a Legislative Analyst for US Representative Diane Watson (CA 33). She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court, the Dauphin County Bar Association and the National Association of Professional Women. Ms. Jones is currently an Adjunct Professor with the Harrisburg Area Community College and has lectured and been requested to speak on a range of legal topics including legal research and writing, women in the law and paralegal studies. Ms. Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from Yale University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where she was on Law Review.


Department of Agriculture

 John Howard
Chief Counsel

 John Howard was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of Agriculture in February, 2019.  He had previously served as Chief Counsel to the Department of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015, and as Assistant Counsel from 2015 until 2018.  From 2002 to 2011, John 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 involved 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.  He has also served as an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College, teaching a course in agricultural law at the Lancaster campus.

John received his Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University, and his Juris Doctor from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.  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.

 


Leon Pandeladis Department of Banking and Securities

Leonidas Pandeladis
Chief Counsel

Leo Pandeladis was appointed Chief Counsel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities in March of 2015.  Prior to his appointment, he served as the Director of Enterprise Compliance for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. In that role, Leo was responsible for the management and oversight of PHEAA’s agency wide compliance management system. This oversight focused on insuring compliance with federal and state consumer protection statutes, regulations, sub-regulatory guidance, and other authority and applying these to agency operations primarily in the arena of student loan servicing for both the United States Department of Education and private financial service and banking entities.

Prior to his role at PHEAA, Leo was the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Leo has also served as the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and as Acting Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of State. Before his tenures as Chief Counsel, Leo served as a Deputy General Counsel with primary responsibilities as legislative counsel for the Governor’s Office and in litigation involving the Governor’s Office. In 2002, Leo was appointed as Deputy Commissioner for Professional and Occupational affairs. In addition to these roles, Leo served as an attorney with the Department of State and Pennsylvania Office of inspector General.

Leo graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in microbiology/biochemistry and political and Magna Cum Laude with his juris doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law where he was a member of the Duquesne University Law Review senior staff.


Brian ZweiacherGovernor'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.


 Debra SandiferPennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Debra Sandifer
Chief Counsel

Debra Sandifer was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in February 2016. 

Just prior to coming to OGC, Ms. Sandifer maintained a practice before administrative tribunals in Philadelphia, such as the Real Estate Tax Review Board and Workers’ Compensation courts.  In private practice in Philadelphia, she handled general liability and insurance defense litigation, and represented the School District of Philadelphia.

Ms. Sandifer was General Counsel to the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and oversaw the claims and loss safety programs.  Prior to that Ms. Sandifer was a Chief Assistant City Solicitor, defending the City of Philadelphia in civil rights matters before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Sandifer also served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Washington, D.C., and tried criminal cases in such places as Adak, Alaska and Australia.  She successfully argued a pivotal 4th Amendment case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. 

In prior service with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, she served as Deputy Inspector General for Southeastern Pennsylvania, and later as a law clerk at the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Sandifer received a J.D. from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in French and General Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.




Department of Community and Economic Development

J. Michael Adams
Chief Counsel

J. Michael Adams, Jr. (Mike Adams) was appointed to serve as Chief Counsel to the Department of Community and Economic Development in January 2018.

Mike Adams has had a career spanning over three decades in law, business and government. He practiced law in Allegheny County representing both private and government clients in state and federal court. Mr. Adams has also practiced in all three Pennsylvania appellate courts including appearing before the Supreme Court; the Superior Court; and the Commonwealth Court each en banc. He has served as legal counsel at every level of government: federal; state; county; and local including numerous boards and commissions within the Commonwealth.

Mr. Adams also serves as Co-chair of the U.S. Senate Federal Judiciary Advisory Committee in the Western District of Pennsylvania from 2006 to currently.






Audrey F. MinerDepartment of Conservation and Natural Resources

Audrey F. Miner
Chief Counsel

Audrey Feinman Miner was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources effective June, 2015. Prior to that appointment, Ms. Miner was a Senior Counsel with the Department of Health, where she functioned as the Litigation Coordinator and provided advice to a variety of health program areas. Before coming to Health, Audrey was Assistant Counsel-in- Charge, Personnel Section, at PENNDOT. At PENNDOT, Ms. Miner was primarily responsible for providing legal advice on labor and employment matters as well as working on a variety of high-profile issues concerning the vehicle emissions inspection program. Ms. Miner was appointed to an air Quality Task Force in order to oversee the legal aspects of PENNDOT’s implementation of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990.

Ms. Miner received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her juris doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was on the Law Review. Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Ms. Miner was an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and clerked for the Honorable John A. MacPhail, Commonwealth Court.






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Timothy A. Holmes
Acting Chief Counsel

Timothy A. Holmes was appointed Acting Chief Counsel for the Department of Corrections in September of 2019.  He had been previously employed as the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Inmate Litigation Section. After being an OGC Intern through law school, he began his employment with the Department in 2002.  He worked in all three of the Department's Legal Sections: Inmate Litigation, Employment, and Legal Services.  For the Inmate Litigation Section, he represented clients in trials, hearings, and oral arguments, including arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  For the Employment Section, he represented the Department in cases before the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and Union Arbitrators.  For the Legal Services Section, he drafted, reviewed, interpreted, executed, and ensured compliance with Department of Corrections' contracts, memoranda of understanding, intergovernmental agreements, licenses, leases, settlement agreements, and union agreements. 

He graduated from Juniata College in 1987 as an Academic All-American with a degree in Public Administration.  After graduating, he worked for his family's printing business, as a private investigator, and a carpenter.  While working, he went to school at night at Penn State University, Capital Campus to obtain a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Upon earning his degree, he began employment at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency as a Management Analyst examining the agency's operating procedures, designating areas of improvement, and implementing the recommended procedures.  After working at PHEAA for eight years, he enrolled full-time in the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 2001.






Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Daniel Fellin
Chief Counsel

Daniel Fellin was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in March 2019.  Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.  He worked at the Department of Human Services from 1997-2019, and handled matters relating to licensing, behavioral health and intellectual disabilities, child welfare services, and county human services funding issues.  He has litigated cases in Federal and State courts; drafted, analyzed, and revised legislation and regulations; and advised agency executive staff and CEOs of state-operated care facilities on a variety of legal and operational matters. He served as a mentor to new attorneys in the OGC Litigation Skills Training Program and as co-chair of the OGC Litigation Practice Group Motions Subcommittee.  Prior to joining OGC, Daniel worked for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Judiciary Committee during and after law school.  He obtained his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law.




Elizabeth A. MaguschakDepartment of Education

Elizabeth A. Maguschak
Chief Counsel

Elizabeth A. Maguschak was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Education in October 2016.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Maguschak had been associated with the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC for 31 years, where she served as a member of the firm’s education practice group.  Maguschak provided general operations assistance to educational institutions in many areas including the review and analysis of legislation and the preparation and revision of by-laws, contracts, waivers and releases, policies and procedures, handbooks, and related documents.  She also advised institutions of higher education on issues as wide-ranging as disability accommodations (employee and student), student discipline and other student life issues, tenure, promotion, academic freedom and other faculty issues, Title IX, the Clery Act, VAWA, FERPA, Compliance, and other education-related laws and regulations, athletics concerns, public safety/security issues, crisis management, personnel and human resources matters, and internal grievances.  Maguschak also provided training to education clients on many different topics, particularly sexual harassment, Title IX, and investigatory techniques.

Since 2000, Maguschak has served as a certified federal court mediator, following her selection by members of the Federal Bench for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

In June 2006, Liz was awarded the Lynette Norton Award, which is bestowed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA).  The PBA’s Commission on Women in the Profession selects a Lynette Norton Award winner each year from female PBA members.  Winners must demonstrate leadership in mentoring female attorneys and must excel in litigation.  In 2005, Liz was honored with two prestigious awards for women.  The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce presented Liz with the Athena Award.  The Athena Award is given to the businesswoman who has demonstrated the highest level of professional accomplishment and is based on professional competency, achievement and dedication.  One month earlier, Liz received the PEARL Award from the YWCA of Greater Hazleton.  In 2004, Liz was presented with the Woman Inspiring Hope and Possibilities Award by the Alumni Office at Bloomsburg University.

Ms. Maguschak received her undergraduate degree from Bloomsburg University (Summa Cum Laude) and her Juris Doctor degree from The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (Magna Cum Laude).





Nicole BordonaroPennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Nicole M. Bordonaro
Chief Counsel

Nicole M. Bordonaro was appointed Chief Counsel with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in April of 2015. Prior to her recent appointment, Nicole served as Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel from January 2015. Previously, Nicole had been appointed as Executive Deputy General Counsel for Legislative Affairs beginning in August 2012. In her role as Executive Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Bordonaro served 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 served as liaison counsel to the Department of General Services. Ms. Bordonaro also served 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).





Alexandra C. Chiaruttini Department of Environmental Protection

Alexandra C. Chiaruttini
Chief Counsel

Alexandra C. Chiaruttini was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in September 2015. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Chiaruttini was a partner with Stock and Leader in York, Pennsylvania where she was the environmental practice chairperson. Ms. Chiaruttini represented firm clients including private industrial and commercial entities, local and county governments, authorities, school districts, and private landowners in environmental matters and environmental litigation. She has presented cases and argument before federal and state courts and regularly represented clients before the Environmental Hearing Board. As Chief Counsel, Ms. Chiaruttini now oversees a legal staff of over 70 attorneys across seven offices statewide who support and provide legal counsel and litigation representation to the Department’s investigation, enforcement, permitting staff. The legal office also provides counsel to Department personnel responsible for statewide policy, regulation, and legislation in fulfilling the agency’s mission.

Ms. Chiaruttini received her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University, a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from Duquesne University, and her Juris Doctor degree from The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.





Charles E. AndersonDepartment of General Services

Charles E. Anderson
Chief Counsel

Charles E. Anderson was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of General Services (DGS) in April 2015. Since July 2004, Chuck served as the Assistant Chief Counsel for Purchasing in DGS, overseeing a unit of four lawyers that provide the day-to-day legal support for DGS’ procurement operations. As Chief Counsel, Chuck manages the legal operations supporting DGS in its role as the state agency responsible for the procurement of goods, services and non-highway construction projects, management of the vehicle fleet, the Capitol Police force, and state buildings and facilities. DGS also serves as the state's real estate agent and insurance broker. Additionally, Chuck provides advice, counsel and expertise on complex and sensitive procurement and related matters to senior executive officials and the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC). Chuck is co-chair of the OGC Transactions Practice Group. He is also a member of the Contractor Responsibility Program (CRP) Oversight Committee. From 2003 to 2004, Chuck was assigned to the Contract & Legal Services Section of the General Law Division at PennDOT.

He previously served as a Deputy General Counsel in OGC, appointed by General Counsel James M. Sheehan in 2000 and again by General Counsel Leslie Anne Miller in 2003. Chuck was Assistant Counsel to the Department of Public Welfare from 1993 to 2000, and Assistant Counsel to the Department of General Services from 1988 to 1993. He received his bachelor of arts in criminology from the University of Maryland and his juris doctor from The Dickinson School of Law.




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Yvette Kostelac
Chief Counsel

Yvette Kostelac is the Chief Counsel for the Department of Health. She was appointed to that position in 2018. She has been an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Health since 1990.  During her tenure with the Department of Health, she has acted as counsel to several of the Department’s regulatory programs and nearly each one of the Department’s public health bureaus. She was appointed Deputy Chief Counsel in 2015 and continued in that position until her appointment as Chief Counsel.





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.




Department of Human Services

Kenneth J. Serafin
Acting Chief Counsel

Potrait forthcoming.

Kenneth J. Serafin was appointed Acting Chief Counsel for the Department of Human Services (DHS) in October of 2019.  Ken had served since August of 2018 as the Executive Deputy Chief Counsel at DHS.  He has over sixteen years of experience with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including service as Chief Counsel to DHS, Deputy Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund, and Chief Counsel to the Fund’s predecessor entity.  Prior to returning to DHS in 2018, Ken was Counsel at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in the firm’s Health Care Practice in Harrisburg, PA.  He also has over seven years of federal government experience which includes service as a member of the majority professional staff on the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means in Washington, D.C. His areas of responsibility included the Medicare Part A hospital benefit, fraud and abuse, health insurance and health care quality improvement. He also served as Workforce Policy Counsel and professional staff for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce in Washington, D.C., where he developed legislation on issues including employee health and pension benefits, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employment law and labor relations.  Ken obtained his B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law.




Jayne B. BlakePennsylvania 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.





Althia Bennett Chief Counsel Office of Inspector General .jpgOffice of State Inspector General

Althia O. Bennett
Chief Counsel

Ms. Bennett began her undergraduate studies at Fordham University at Lincoln Center then transferred to Harpur College of the State University of New York where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. She graduated Cum Laude with All University Honors and Honors in Political Science. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law where she wrote for the Temple Environmental & Technology Law Journal; was awarded Outstanding Trial Advocacy and the Sender and Janina Szwalbenest Memorial Award.

Ms. Bennett is an experienced litigator in both criminal defense and civil areas of practice. Her legal background also encompasses appellate work and practice areas including contracts, real estate and commercial litigation. She began her legal career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia as a Staff Attorney, and later as a Municipal Court Supervisor. Upon completion of her term of service at the Defender Association she became a Managing Partner at a small law firm handling civil and criminal litigation. She later started her own practice as a solo practitioner handling appellate matters in Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts, litigation matters in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as a member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel as well as civil and criminal litigation in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.

Ms. Bennett is a strong believer and advocate of volunteerism and pro bono legal work. She has worked as a Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts with the Philadelphia Arts and Business Council and Philadelphia VIP, Pro Bono Legal Services and Law Works, assisting low-income homeowners facing foreclosure. For her service to indigent criminal defendants she was awarded the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award.

Ms. Bennett is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Bar Association (ABA) where she was appointed to the Steering Group of the International Refugee Law Committee of the Section of International Law. She is an active participant in the ABA Law Student Division’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition as a Brief Grader, and Oral Argument Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  





Amy DaubertDepartment of Insurance

Amy Daubert
Chief Counsel

Amy G. Daubert was appointed as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department in February 2016, after having served as Acting Chief Counsel since January 2016.  Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief Counsel from 2011.  This is her second appointment as Chief Counsel with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

Amy has represented the Pennsylvania Insurance Department since 1996.  Her responsibilities primarily consisted of evaluating complicated corporate transactions, insurance company solvency issues and complex litigation matters.  Prior to joining OGC, Amy was associated with Pepper Hamilton LLP in the firm’s Harrisburg office from 1991 to 1996.  Her practice focused on commercial litigation.  She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  Amy received her bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College in 1984 and her juris doctor from the Dickinson School of Law in 1991, where she was a member of the Dickinson Law Review. 

She 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 Bar Association.




Marsha A. SajerDepartment of Labor and Industry

Marsha A. Sajer
Chief Counsel

Marsha A. Sajer was appointed Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in March 2015. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Sajer was a partner with K&L Gates LLP in its commercial disputes practice where she represented clients in business litigation involving breach of contract, fraud, product liability actions, interference with contracts, civil conspiracy, and actions involving dissolved corporations, often resolving cases before trial. She managed litigation teams and handled complex, multi-party claims. She also defended parties against government enforcement and natural resource damage claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (a/k/a the Superfund law) and prosecuted contribution actions against parties responsible for pollution.

Before joining K&L Gates, Ms. Sajer served in the United States Army, first as a communications officer and then, after her graduation from law school, as a judge advocate. Ms. Sajer served in the Pentagon as Assistant to the Army General Counsel, where she advised the General Counsel, Secretary of the Army, and senior Army officials on a broad range of administrative and criminal issues. She provided legal support for internal investigations of alleged impropriety by Army general officers and of other allegations of wrongdoing by Army personnel. She also advised on the use of military forces to mitigate the results of disasters or acts of terrorism in the United States and on criminal and corrections policy.

Prior to that assignment, Ms. Sajer supervised the Army’s military personnel law office, which advised senior Army officials on all administrative military personnel matters regarding active duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel, including promotions, investigations, regulations and legislation. Preceding that duty assignment, Ms. Sajer served as chief of the criminal law division for the 2d Infantry Division in Korea, supervising all felony and misdemeanor prosecutions for units deployed just south of the demilitarized zone, and as a prosecutor at Fort Carson, Colorado. Ms. Sajer retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel.

She received a B.A. from Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, a J.D. (with honors) from Duke Law School, Durham, North Carolina and her LL.M. from The Judge Advocate General’s School, Army, Charlottesville, Virginia.





Elizabeth Pettis Chief Counsel Department of Military and Veterans Affairs .pngDepartment of Military and Veterans Affairs

Elizabeth L. Pettis
Chief Counsel

Elizabeth L. Pettis was appointed Deputy General Counsel with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in July 2016, then as Chief Counsel for the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs in February 2018.  In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Elizabeth’s practice focuses on transactional and regulatory matters affecting some 34 executive branch and independent Commonwealth agencies. She also develops, implements, and manages various training initiatives for OGC. 

Elizabeth has an extensive business, transactional and regulatory background within the Commonwealth and in private industry. Prior to her appointment, Elizabeth served as the Deputy Chief Counsel for Administration for the Department of Corrections, as an Assistant Counsel to the State Employees Retirement System, and as a Deputy Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General.In the private sector, Elizabeth served as Corporate Counsel at Caterpillar, Inc. and as an Associate with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Shippensburg University John L. Grove College of Business. 

Elizabeth received a B.A. in political science from Millersville University, an M.A. in public administration from Columbus State University, a J.D. from the Pennsylvania State University and an LL.M. in international business and trade law from American University. 

Prior to her legal career, Elizabeth served in the United States Army for over 10 years as both a Commissioned and a Non-Commissioned Officer.





Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System

See above Brian Zweiacher - Governor's Office of the Budget




Alan RobinsonBoard of Probation and Parole

Alan Robinson
Chief Counsel

Alan Robinson was appointed Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in October of 2016.  Prior to this appointment, he served as Acting Chief Counsel for the Board of Probation and Parole from January of 2015. Previously, Mr. Robinson served as Deputy Chief Counsel from January of 2012 until January of 2015.  His employment with the Board of Probation and Parole began in July of 2004, with an appointment as Assistant Counsel.  Mr. Robinson began his employment with the Office of General Counsel in July of 2000 as an Assistant Counsel at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Prior to employment with OGC, Alan was employed as a law clerk to the Honorable John S. Kennedy (York County) and as an associate in private practice.

Alan currently represents the Board in claims filed by offenders and employees in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals. Alan also advises the Board and senior staff on all issues impacting the Board’s operation and provides training to county probation officers, state parole agents and hearing examiners. As an Assistant Counsel at the Department of Corrections, Alan represented the Department in inmate litigation and employment matters.

Alan is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Alan is a graduate of Purdue University and a cum laude graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, where he was a recipient of the Sidney D. Kline Memorial Scholarship and a member of the Woolsack Honor Society.





Department of Revenue

Thomas J. Gohsler
Chief Counsel

Tom Gohsler was appointed Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue in February 2019. Prior to his appointment, he served as Acting Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief Counsel for Revenue from 2011 through 2017, supervising five attorneys that provide litigation and legal support services in the areas of inheritance tax, gaming matters, personnel, and agency transactional and procurement work.  Additionally, Mr. Gohsler served as counsel for the Pennsylvania Lottery during that time.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Counsel, he worked as counsel for Revenue from 1999 through 2011 and handled areas that included inheritance tax, sales and use tax, and Lottery.  Mr. Gohsler frequently speaks before county bar associations and various practice groups concerning issues related to tax and estate planning matters.

Mr. Gohsler received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his juris doctor from the Dickinson School of Law.




Department of State

Timothy E. Gates
Chief Counsel

Timothy E. Gates was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of State in October 2015.  Prior to this appointment, Mr. Gates served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.  In that capacity, Mr. Gates supervised a team of attorneys who represented the Department in civil rights litigation.

Prior to his service to the Office of General Counsel, Mr. Gates served as a Deputy Attorney General with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.  As a Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Gates was assigned to the Health Care Section where he prosecuted violations of the consumer protection law and other laws enforced by the Attorney General. 

Mr. Gates is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as well as the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University and his law degree from the Widener University School of Law.

Prior to his legal career Mr. Gates was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army.  He resides in Dauphin County with his wife, Sandy, and their three children.




Joanna ReynoldsPennsylvania State Police

Nolan B. Meeks
Acting Chief Counsel

Nolan B. Meeks is the Acting Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania State Police. In this position, he provides the State Police with legal advice on Right-To-Know Law matters and represents the State Police in litigation before administrative bodies, courts of common pleas, Pennsylvania’s intermediate appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Prior to working for the State Police, Mr. Meeks worked for a private law firm where he represented clients in Social Security disability cases before administrative law judges and on appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council and in federal district court. Mr. Meeks started his legal career in the Reading office of MidPenn Legal Services where he represented indigent clients in landlord/tenant, public housing, consumer debt and custody cases.

Mr. Meeks is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Cheyney University with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received his J.D. from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.





Andrew C. LehmanState 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 with his family in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.





Department of Transportation

Jason D. Sharp
Chief Counsel

Jason D. Sharp was appointed Acting Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in June of 2017 and Chief Counsel in March 2018.  Prior to his appointment, he was the Executive Deputy Chief Counsel, serving as chief administrator for three regional PennDOT legal offices that provide litigation and legal support services for forty-five (45) counties, as well as assisting the Chief Counsel in overall management of office’s personnel, fiscal and information technology needs.  Additionally, Mr. Sharp managed PennDOT’s administrative docket program, serving as lead hearing officer.  Mr. Sharp also acted as counsel on priority projects and litigation matters including service as lead counsel to Pennsylvania’s Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, addressing connected and automated vehicle issues. 

Prior to his appointment as Executive Deputy, Mr. Sharp was a member of the Office’s Real Property Division, litigating before administrative, trial and appellate tribunals, including the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, various Courts of Common Pleas and the Commonwealth and Supreme Courts.  His practice concentrated on right-of-way acquisition defense; utility relocation issues; railroad/highway issues; property acquisition management, sale and disposal; and contracting or permitting issues for non-motorized uses of highway right-of-way. 

Mr. Sharp is a graduate of Widener University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from King’s College.  At Widener, he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and recipient of the school’s Outstanding Service Award.