Griffin: Staff will serve with ‘excellence’
and the ‘highest level of professionalism’ for Arkansans
LITTLE ROCK – Lt. Governor and Attorney General-elect Tim Griffin today released the following statement announcing his senior staff and a restructuring of the Office of the Attorney General:
“I first want to thank Attorney General Rutledge for her assistance and cooperation during our transition. I am excited to announce my senior staff and restructuring. This talented team will serve with excellence and the highest level of professionalism. They share my commitment to protecting Arkansans from criminals, unscrupulous actors, and an overreaching federal government.”
Griffin announced that he is creating an Office of General Counsel and appointing a General Counsel with the responsibility of providing world-class legal advice internally within the Office of the Attorney General and externally through the Opinions and State Agencies Divisions, both of which will be led by a Deputy General Counsel.
Griffin also announced that he is eliminating the position of Chief of Staff and two Deputy Chief of Staff positions to implement a unified supervisory structure headed by the Chief Deputy Attorney General. Additionally, he is creating a Special Litigation Section under the Civil Litigation Division. This new section of experienced litigators will handle the most complex cases and work in tandem with the outstanding appellate practice of the Solicitor General’s office.
Further, Griffin is creating a Director of Trial Advocacy position to ensure that the Office of the Attorney General has the highest level of trial advocacy training, especially for the younger, less experienced attorneys. Griffin is also creating a Special Prosecutions Division to work directly with the Special Investigations Division.
Senior Staff Appointments
Griffin named the following people to serve in the Office of the Attorney General when he takes the oath of office as Arkansas’s 57th Attorney General on January 10, 2023:
Chief Deputy Attorney General Bob R. Brooks, Jr. is a Fort Smith native and is currently a partner at Capitol Counsel, LLC. A graduate of the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas and the University of Tulsa College of Law, Brooks served as Chief of Staff to former Congressmen and House Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Jim McCrery (LA-04) and Jay Dickey (AR-04).
General Counsel Zach Mayo is a native Arkansan who currently serves as Criminal Justice Counsel in the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson. Prior to that, he served as a clerk for Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Shawn Womack and as Deputy Director of External Relations for the Federalist Society. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Chicago Law School.
Senior Advisor Carl Vogelpohl is a Little Rock native currently serving as Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Griffin and is a former Chief of Staff in the Office of the Attorney General. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he has also served as District Director, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief of Staff for Griffin’s Second Congressional District Office.
Assistant Attorney General and Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Alexandra Benton is a native of Batesville and currently serves as Counselor and Deputy Director of America Strong and Free, Inc., and previously served as Appointment Coordinator for Governor Asa Hutchinson. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis.
Director, Office of Community Relations, Anushree Jumde is from Conway and currently serves as District Director for Second District Congressman French Hill. She previously served as a District Representative in Hill’s office after starting in the Second District office under Congressman Tim Griffin in 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Deputy General Counsel for State Agencies Daniel Faulkner is currently Deputy Attorney General for State Agencies and has been in the office since 2016. He started in public service as a lawyer in the Arkansas Department of Labor in 2002. He is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Deputy General Counsel for Opinions Ryan Owsley is from Little Rock and currently serves as a Senior Legislative Attorney in the Bureau of Legislative Research. He previously served in the Attorney General’s office from 2008 through 2016. Owsley is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor.
Deputy Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, John Payne is the Deputy Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard and holds the rank of Brigadier General. He commanded the 77th Aviation Brigade on deployment to Iraq in 2011 and earned the Bronze Star. He is a graduate of Henderson State University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, and the United States Army War College.
Senior Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, and Chief, Special Litigation Section, Christine Cryer will return to the Attorney General’s office from the Arkansas Department of Corrections where she currently serves as Chief Legal Counsel. Cryer previously served under Griffin’s three immediate predecessors in the Attorney General’s office. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
Senior Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, Special Litigation Section, Noah Watson is an associate attorney at Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull, PLLC in Little Rock where his practice focuses on civil litigation. He served as a clerk for Chief Judge Lavenski Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Watson graduated from Harding University and the Washington University School of Law.
Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Division, Special Litigation Section, Justin Brascher is currently serving as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office in Kelso, Washington. He previously served as a prosecutor in Bothell, Washington, and a clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and University of Washington School of Law.
Senior Assistant Attorney General and Director of Trial Advocacy, Civil Litigation Division, Renae Ford Hudson is from Sherwood and currently serves as the Deputy Attorney General of the Civil Litigation Division. She is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
Deputy Attorney General, Public Protection Division, Chuck Harder is from Benton and previously led the Public Protection Division. Previously, he served as the Vice President for Regulatory and Government Affairs at SourceGas, LLC, after holding multiple senior and director-level positions at CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Additionally, he has held leadership positions on various consumer protection boards and utility trade associations. He is a graduate of Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
Senior Assistant Attorney General, Special Prosecutions Division, Ryan Cooper is from Walnut Ridge and currently serves as the Prosecuting Attorney for the Third Judicial District. He previously served as the City Attorney for the cities of Hoxie and Walnut Ridge and City Attorney for the cities of Black Rock, Imboden, and Ravenden. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Deputy Chief of Investigations and Director, Executive Protection Unit, Special Investigations Division, John Howard is currently Special Agent in Charge in the Special Investigations Division and a reserve officer in the Jacksonville Police Department. He began his law enforcement career in 1997 as a patrol officer in Jacksonville and was later promoted to the JUMP Team and Detective. Additionally, he served as a Deputy Sheriff and Investigator for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. Howard also served as a civilian contractor providing security in high-threat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last week, Griffin announced that former Little Rock Police Department Interim Chief Wayne Bewley will become his Chief of Investigations, Special Investigations Division.
Griffin also announced that the following people will continue in their current roles in the Office of Attorney General:
Solicitor General Nicholas Bronni is a Camden native and has served as Solicitor General since 2018. He first joined the Attorney General’s office in 2016 after serving as a Senior Litigation Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Michigan Law School.
Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Division, Darnisa Johnson started in the Attorney General’s office in 1991 as an Assistant Attorney General. She was promoted to Senior Assistant Attorney General in 1996 and later became a Deputy Attorney General in 2002. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
Deputy Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Lloyd Warford is a native of North Little Rock and has served in this position since 2015. He previously served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, on the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, and as an Attorney and Assistant Director of Youth Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. He is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law.
About Lt. Governor Tim Griffin
He was elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas on November 4, 2014, and was re-elected for his second four-year term on November 6, 2018. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault in Mosul, Iraq. He is currently serving as the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) for the 81st Readiness Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Prior to his current post, Griffin served as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment (LOD) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and a senior legislative advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Colonel Griffin holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.