Virginia’s new attorney general fires University of Virginia’s top lawyer in first week on the job

It certainly didn’t take long for a number of the newly-elected Republicans in the state of Virginia to make waves, especially Virginia’s new Attorney General Jason Miyares, who made a sweeping move just days after being installed.

According to the Washington Examiner, Miyares fired University of Virginia’s top counselor, Tim Heaphy, and a number of additional staffers. Notably, Heaphy was on leave as he was called to serve as one of the lead investigators for the Jan. 6 committee. 

Though a number of critics have already accused Miyares of terminating Heaphy because of that involvement, his office released a statement that made clear the decision to fire the university’s counselor was not based on his work with the Jan. 6 committee.

“The decision had nothing to do with the January 6th committee or their investigations,” a Miyares spokesperson told the Examiner.

The spox added: “It is common practice for an incoming administration to appoint new staff that share the philosophical and legal approach of the Attorney General. Every counsel serves at the pleasure of the Attorney General.”

They went on to explain that such a decision was made also based on Heaphy’s various decisions over past years, adding that they’d like to hire a counselor who makes decisions based on the law, and not on a university philosophy.

Heaphy, in a statement after the announcement, expressed his disappointment in the decision, but provided the obligatory “it has been an honor” speech.

“Serving as University Counsel for the past 3 years has been a tremendous honor and privilege,” Heaphy’s statement read. “As a two-time graduate of the University, the parent of a current student, and a longtime resident of Charlottesville, I love the University and have been privileged to contribute to its aspiration to be both great and good.”

In addition to Heaphy’s termination, George Mason University counsel Brian Walther was also fired by the new attorney general, according to the Associated Press.