Virginia’s newly elected Republican attorney general fired the University of Virginia counsel who also was lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee.
As part of Attorney General Jason Miyares office restructuring, the lawyer, Tim Heaphy, was ousted from his position while he was on leave to investigate the events of Jan. 6.
Democrats were quick to correlate the decision to remove Heaphy with his involvement in the investigation of Jan 6.
However, Miyares’ spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita firmly shut down the allegations, saying the decision had “nothing to do with the January 6th committee or their investigations.” LaCivita attested that it’s a “common practice for an incoming administration to appoint new staff that share the philosophical and legal approach of the Attorney General.”
LaCivita said that the decision was made after reviewing his legal decisions over the past years. “Our decision was made after reviewing the legal decisions made over the last couple of years,” LaCivita said. “The Attorney General wants the university counsel to return to giving legal advice based on law, and not the philosophy of a university. We plan to look internally first for the next lead counsel.”
Miyares first received backlash for “restructuring the office” after allegedly firing 30 staff members within hours of taking office. Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas accused Miyares of firing the entire civil rights division following the ousting.
Nonetheless, LaCivita notified State Sen. Lucas that “only 2 personnel changes have been made out of a 12 person office.”
Furthermore, Heaphy, who held his position at the University of Virginia since 2018, responded to the decision, stating he was “disappointed” following his removal.
“While I’m disappointed that my time as University Counsel has come to an end, I’m confident that the office will continue to provide quality service as the University continues to thrive in the days to come,” he said.
George Mason University’s counsel Brian Walther was also removed from the position.