McDonnell announces first round of staff hires
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McDonnell named two longtime senior staff members in the Office of the Attorney General, Martin Kent and Marla Decker, to serve as his Chief of Staff and Secretary of Public Safety, respectively. He announced that he would reappoint the Commonwealth’s current Secretary of Finance, Ric Brown, to the same position.
McDonnell named Eric Finkbeiner, who previously served under Govs. Doug Wilder and George Allen, as Senior Advisor for Policy, a cabinet level position in the McDonnell Administration. Rounding out the initial round of appointments, McDonnell announced Tucker Martin as Director of Communications.
Speaking about incoming Chief of Staff Martin Kent, McDonnell remarked, “I have known and worked closely with Martin Kent for the past few years. He is dedicated, diligent and tireless. He has a comprehensive understanding of state government, an understanding matched by very few. As my Chief Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General, and most recently as Chief Deputy Attorney General of Virginia under current Attorney General Bill Mims, Martin has earned his deserved reputation as a trusted and respected public servant who values good government and sound policy. I thank Martin for being willing to take on this critically important responsibility.”
McDonnell also spoke about his first Cabinet appointments, stating, “Marla Decker has been with the Office of the Attorney General for over 25 years. She has worked with Democratic and Republican Attorneys General alike. As my Deputy Attorney General for Public Safety, Marla was instrumental in leading the fights against gangs, terrorism and drugs in the Commonwealth. The daughter and granddaughter of New York City police officers, Marla has built longstanding and positive relationships with law enforcement leaders statewide that will prove of great benefit in her new capacity.”
McDonnell continued, “Secretary Ric Brown has been a dedicated servant to the citizens of the Commonwealth for more than 35 years. His in-depth knowledge of state government finances is unparalleled. Thus, I have asked Secretary Brown to stay on as my Secretary of Finance until such time as I believe my administration has a complete understanding of our current economic situation. ”
Finally, McDonnell added, “Eric Finkbeiner has played key roles in two prior gubernatorial administrations. He is a noted policy expert, and his counsel has been regularly sought out by elected officials in the Commonwealth. We ran a campaign of ideas, and this will be a policy-driven Administration. As Senior Advisor for Policy I will call on Eric often, and he will be directly involved in the development and implementation of numerous important initiatives in the years ahead.”