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John Brownlee, who served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia for about seven years, joins as the governor faces state and federal investigations into gifts he and his family have received.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Former U.S. Attorney John Brownlee has been added to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s private legal team in the latest adjustment to his personal response effort.
Brownlee’s arrival marks the departure of high-powered Washington lawyer Emmet T. Flood from the governor’s legal team, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Brownlee, confirmed in 2001, served as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia for nearly seven years. In 2009 he lost the Republican nomination for attorney general to Ken Cuccinelli.
Brownlee is a partner with the international law firm Holland & Knight, where he is chair of the firm’s National White Collar Defense and Investigations Team, according to his bio on the firm’s site.
Rich Galen, a senior communications adviser to McDonnell’s private legal team, confirmed the addition of Brownlee, but would not discuss other possible changes in the lineup.
McDonnell, facing state and federal investigations into gifts he and his family have received during his gubernatorial term, has a state-appointed attorney — former Attorney General Anthony F. Troy — and has had private counsel in Flood.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Galen was added to McDonnell’s response team late last week. Both Galen and governor’s office spokesman Tucker Martin say Galen is not being paid by state taxpayers. Brownlee is also not being paid by the state, according to Galen.
Cuccinelli appointed Troy to represent the governor in legal matters related to a state inquiry into gifts and a related criminal case alleging embezzlement by the former chef at the Executive Mansion.
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