RICHMOND, Va. — Jason Miyares, Virginia's incoming attorney general, is shaking up staff ahead of taking office on Saturday.
Miyares, a Republican, will take over from Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who was narrowly defeated in the November 2021 election.
On Friday, Miyares' team said he made 30 personnel changes, including 17 attorneys and 13 staff members. Those attorneys include the solicitor general and deputies that served under Herring.
Miyares announced in December that Andrew Ferguson, who served as chief counsel to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, would be Virginia's next solicitor general, succeeding Michelle Kallen.
On Jan. 3, he announced additional senior staff, including his picks for chief deputy, deputy attorneys general and chief of staff.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Helen Hardiman, an assistant attorney general who worked on housing discrimination, was one of those being let go. According to the report, Hardiman just started investigating dangerous conditions at a Richmond apartment complex.
Miyares' team didn't specify which 13 staff members were affected.
13News Now reached out to Miyares' team after Virginia Sen. Louise Lucas accused Miyares of firing "the entire civil rights division in the Attorney General's office."
"This whole campaign we had to listen to @JasonMiyaresVA whining about local prosecutors choosing not to prosecute certain crimes- then he gets elected and eliminates an entire division dedicated to enforcing civil rights law," Lucas said in a tweet.
Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Miyares, said Lucas' comment was incorrect and that only two personnel changes were made out of a 12 person office.
Lucas then accused Miyares of gaslighting by "PR statements."
"...this is the people’s AG office and we all deserve full transparency on what happened today," Lucas said in a tweet.
LaCivita later tweeted that Miyares will analyze and evaluate the entire Office of the Attorney General following his inauguration, then will announce further changes.