Jacob Boyer was appointed Deputy General Counsel in January 2023. Prior to his appointment, Jacob served as Deputy Attorney General in the Impact Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General under Attorney General Josh Shapiro. In that role, Jacob represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in civil litigation involving issues of significant state and national importance. Since 2020, Jacob has served as lead counsel on behalf of the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Department of State on numerous election matters. He also has represented the Commonwealth in various actions against the federal government related to access to healthcare, gun violence, and predatory student lending.
Before joining the Office of Attorney General, Jacob clerked for Diane Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Beryl Howell on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and received his bachelor of arts from Amherst College.
Sean P. Brennan was appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in January of 2023. In addition to his responsibilities to the General Counsel, Sean concentrates on legislative matters on behalf of the Governor’s Office and in conjunction with various executive agencies.
Sean’s background includes both public and private sector experience in state legislative and regulatory practice, with a focus on insurance, healthcare, finance, and criminal justice. In the private sector, Sean worked for Independence Blue Cross where he focused on state regulatory matters and public policy development. His public sector experience includes more than a decade with the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Sean came to OGC from the Pennsylvania State Senate where he served as the Executive Director and Legal Counsel to the Judiciary Committee. Prior to his work with the Judiciary Committee, Sean held several positions with the Pennsylvania State Senate, including Deputy Chief Counsel to the Appropriations Committee and Director and Legal Counsel to the Banking and Insurance Committee. Before his tenure with the Pennsylvania State Senate, Sean spent eight years as a legislative aide and research analyst with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. While working for the House of Representatives, he attended law school at night to complete his Juris Doctor degree.
Sean received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Bloomsburg University and his Juris Doctor from Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
Anne Gingrich Cornick
Deputy General Counsel
Anne Gingrich Cornick was appointed Deputy General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Governors 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. 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 Honors Program, summa cum laude. Anne lives in the city of Harrisburg with her husband, Sean, and their daughter.
Michael J. Fischer
Executive Deputy General Counsel
Michael J. Fischer was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel in January 2023. Previously, he served as Chief Counsel and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Attorney General Josh Shapiro. In that role, he oversaw the Office of Attorney General’s first-ever Impact Litigation Section and represented Pennsylvania in litigation challenging federal government policies dealing with health care, the environment, education, immigration, and other areas. In 2020, he argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Pennsylvania in litigation challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
Michael previously worked as Senior Counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, where he oversaw the staff of the Crime & Terrorism Subcommittee on behalf of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he investigated and tried cases involving violent crime, public corruption, white-collar crime, narcotics, and other offenses. He worked for the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, where he handled complex trial and appellate litigation across a broad variety of subject matters. Following law school, Michael clerked for the Honorable Edward R. Becker and the Honorable Michael Chertoff on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Michael graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude and Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Hamilton Fellowship Recipient and a James Kent Scholar. He is a native of Wayne, PA, and a graduate of Radnor High School.
Andrew P. HannaDeputy General Counsel
Andrew P. Hanna was appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in March of 2021. In addition to his general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Andrew focuses on legislative and transactional matters on behalf of the Governor’s Office and in conjunction with various executive agencies. Andrew is a member of OGC’s Transactions Practice Group and Intellectual Property Practice Group. Andrew comes to OGC from the Department of Corrections (DOC), where he served as Assistant Counsel for Legal Services. Andrew’s practice focused on policy, legislation, procurement law, negotiating contracts, reviewing contracts for form and legality, and providing legal counsel on transactional matters. Andrew has also represented the DOC in Compassionate Release cases. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his Juris Doctor degree from Widener University School of Law.
Thomas P. Howell
Deputy General Counsel
Thomas P. Howell was appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), in April 2016. In addition to his responsibilities to the General Counsel, Thomas concentrates his practice in the area of public records law. Thomas 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. Thomas is also the Chair of the Records Access and Management/Right-to-Know Law Practice Group
Since joining the Commonwealth in 1996, Thomas has served in various capacities with the Department of Labor and Industry, where he represented the Department in areas of Labor and Employment law, primarily as counsel to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Thomas has represented executive agencies in Pennsylvania’s Courts of Common Pleas and Commonwealth Court, and has successfully litigated matters before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in History from College Misericordia (now Misericordia University) in Dallas, Pennsylvania, in 1994, and received his Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law in 1996, where he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.
Alaina C. Koltash
Deputy General Counsel
Alaina C. Koltash was appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in August 2020. In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Alaina focuses on legislative matters on behalf of the Governor’s Office and in conjunction with various executive agencies.
Alaina came to OGC from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where she served as Executive Director and Counsel to the Education Committee. In that position, she drafted, analyzed, and negotiated legislation on a wide range of education issues. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Counsel to the Department of Education (PDE). While at PDE, Alaina’s practice focused on areas including financially distressed school districts, early childhood learning, and school finance. Alaina also served as counsel to the Charter School Appeal Board.
Alaina is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Government Lawyers Committee. Alaina is also a barrister member of the James S. Bowman Inn of Court, a founding board member of the Widener Law Commonwealth Alumni Association, and a long-time volunteer for the Money in Your Pocket Program which provides free tax preparation for low-income families in the Capital Region.
Alaina received her undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University and her juris doctor, magna cum laude, from Widener University School of Law where she was a Widener Merit Scholar.
Jonathan D. Koltash
Deputy General Counsel
Jonathan D. Koltash was appointed Deputy General Counsel in January 2023. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Koltash served as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority beginning in December 2019. Previously Mr. Koltash served as Assistant Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). In that position, he served as DOH’s litigation supervisor, providing counsel to the Secretary of Health, the Physician General, and DOH staff on litigation matters. He was counsel to the Bureau of Human Resources, the Bureau of Laboratories, and the Office of Medical Marijuana. He is also an adjunct professor at Widener Commonwealth Law School and Central Penn College.
Prior to working with the DOH, Mr. Koltash served as Deputy Attorney General with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, where he represented the Commonwealth in various matters before both the federal and state courts. Mr. Koltash also previously served as Assistant Counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry.
Mr. Koltash is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA). He currently sits in the PBA’s House of Delegates and serves as the Chair of the Government Lawyers’ Committee. He is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Secretary of the Federal Bar Association Middle District Chapter, a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA Youth and Government program a member of Widener Commonwealth’s Board of Overseers and leadership in the James S. Bowman Inn of Court.
Mr. Koltash is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the United States District Courts of the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania. Mr. Koltash received his B.S. in Finance and Economics from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D., cum laude, from Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
Stephen R. Kovatis
Deputy General Counsel
Stephen R. Kovatis was appointed Deputy General Counsel in March 2023. In addition to his responsibilities to the General Counsel, his practice focuses on litigation on behalf of the Governor and state agencies.
Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Steve served as Senior Deputy Attorney General with the Office of Attorney General, where he was the Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Litigation Section in the Philadelphia Office. In addition to his supervisory role, he was lead counsel in numerous cases in federal and state court. He has handled matters including election integrity, COVID-19 business closures, gun regulation, and the Commonwealth’s settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors. He also regularly defends state and federal constitutional challenges. Before his state service, he was in private practice.
Steve graduated from the University of Notre Dame magna cum laude, and he received his law degree from Temple University. While in law school, he clerked for the Honorable John T.J. Kelly on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth L. Pettis
Deputy General Counsel
Elizabeth L. Pettis was re-appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in January 2023. Her practice at OGC focuses on transactional and regulatory matters affecting over 30 executive branch and independent Commonwealth agencies. She also develops, implements, and manages various training initiatives for OGC.
Ms. Pettis has an extensive business, transactional, and regulatory compliance background within the Commonwealth and in private industry. Prior to her re-appointment, Elizabeth served as Chief Counsel for the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, which is the agency that, among other things, oversees the Pennsylvania National Guard, administers state veterans’ programs, and operates six long term care facilities for veterans and their spouses. Preceding her work at DMVA, Elizabeth served the Commonwealth in various attorney positions including Deputy General Counsel in OGC, Deputy Chief Counsel for Administration for the Department of Corrections, Assistant Counsel for the State Employees Retirement System, and Deputy Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General. In the private sector, Ms. Pettis served as Corporate Counsel at Caterpillar, Inc. and as an Associate with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. Finally, Elizabeth also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Widener University, Commonwealth School of Law and previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the Shippensburg University, John L. Grove College of Business.
Prior to her legal career, Ms. Pettis served in the United States Army for over 10 years as both a Commissioned and a Non-Commissioned Officer.
Ms. Pettis 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.
Kelly M. Sekula
Executive Deputy General Counsel
Kelly M. Sekula was appointed Executive Deputy General Counsel for Public Safety in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel in January 2023. Ms. Sekula’s practice focuses on public safety and criminal justice matters on behalf of the Governor’s Office and in conjunction with various executive branch and independent Commonwealth agencies.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Sekula served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Prosecutions Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General investigating and prosecuting a wide spectrum of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to complex felonies and homicides, including cold-case homicides. Ms. Sekula also assisted and advised the Attorney General related to the Board of Pardons and was a member of the Conviction Integrity Section. Prior to her work in the Criminal Prosecutions Section, Ms. Sekula was a member of the Appeals & Legal Services Section where she represented the Commonwealth at all levels of appeals and supervised the Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. Ms. Sekula was also appointed as the Administrative Law Judge for firearms appeals and criminal history record information challenges.
Prior to her appointment at the Office of Attorney General, Ms. Sekula was an Assistant District Attorney in the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. In that capacity, she served as Chief of the Violent Crimes and Homicides Unit where she supervised and coordinated strategy and personnel for all homicides, suspicious deaths and violent criminal offenses as well as prosecuted cases. Ms. Sekula also supervised the Investigating Grand Jury and oversaw the County-wide Major Crimes Unit Forensic Team.
Ms. Sekula received her bachelor of arts degree from Juniata College in 1996 and her juris doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 1999.
Kelly K. Smith
Deputy General Counsel
Kelly K. Smith was appointed Deputy General Counsel in October 2023. In addition to her responsibilities to the General Counsel, Ms. Smith focuses her practice on transactional and regulatory matters affecting over 30 executive and independent Commonwealth agencies.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Smith most recently served as the Acting Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of State Fire Commissioner. She was also the Acting Chief Counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) from November 2021 to January 2023, after having served as the Executive Deputy Chief Counsel for L&I beginning in 2017. Prior to that, Ms. Smith was appointed the Deputy Chief Counsel for L&I’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in January 2015 and was responsible overseeing the Bureau’s legal staff and for legal advice to all divisions of the Bureau. Ms. Smith previously served as Assistant Chief Counsel in L&I’s Safety, Training and Administration Division, where she was responsible for legal advice to the Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety, the Bureau of Disability Determination, the Bureau of Administrative Services, the Office of Information Technology and the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. She spent two years in private practice at the Harrisburg firm of Meyers, Desfor, Saltzgiver and Boyle. Ms. Smith also previously served as an Assistant Counsel to L&I’s Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.
Ms. Smith received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, where she was awarded a University Law Scholarship, and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from Wells College in Aurora, New York.
Deputy General Counsell
Amber Sizemore was appointed Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) in March 2023. Amber’s OGC practice focuses on ethics and employment issues as well as systemwide administrative matters. She also currently serves as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and counsel to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Patient Safety Authority.
Prior to OGC, Amber served as Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Health Care Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, University Legal Counsel at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and Assistant Counsel to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
Amber received a Juris Doctorate from Penn State Dickinson School of Law, a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Dallas, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and History from Concord University.
Deputy General Counsel
Sandra Stoner was appointed in February 2022 as Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel's (OGC). Prior to her appointment she had served 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 since January 2019.
Preceding her work with OA, Ms. Stoner served as a contract Hearing Officer for the 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.