Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison outlines transition plan, hires chief of staff
Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison on Thursday outlined plans for his transition from Washington to St. Paul, picking his congressional chief of staff to assume the same role when he takes office in January.
Ellison, who will be sworn in January 7 along with the new governor and other statewide officials, said Thursday that Donna Cassutt will help manage the attorney generals office. He also named Sarah Walker, a government affairs consultant, and former solicitor general and chief deputy attorney general Richard Allyn as transition co-chairs.
I am honored to have earned the trust of the people of Minnesota to serve as their Attorney General, where I will fight for affordable health care, a fair economy, and equal rights for all, Ellison said in a statement announcing the moves, which he said would help build a strong, dedicated, people-centered public law firm for the people of Minnesota.
Cassutt has managed staffs in both Washington, D.C., and Minnesota for Ellison, a six-term congressmen. Ellison said Thursday that Cassutt will next be tasked with overseeing early priorities for the office which will be led by a new attorney general for the first time since 2006 that stand to cover issues touching on affordable health care, economic opportunities and civil rights.
Before defeating Republican Doug Wardlow in Tuesdays election, Ellison also promised to make his first legislative priority a push to protect staff attorneys from being fired based on their political affiliation.
Walker and Allyn will meanwhile help hire senior staff members for the office. Walker has advocated for criminal justice reform and founded the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition. Allyn is now a partner at Robins Kaplan LLC and specializes in business litigation. Both participated publicly in events supporting Ellison late in the campaign.
Stephen Montemayor 612-673-1755