The Office

The Attorney General is Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official, with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth. The Attorney General is served by a staff of several hundred prosecutors, attorneys, investigators, agents and support staff in offices across the state, divided into four sections: the Criminal Law Division, the Public Protection Division, the Civil Division and the Operations Division.

The Criminal Law Division is responsible for investigating drug trafficking, child predators, organized crime, public corruption, insurance fraud and other criminal violations. This division also handles criminal cases referred to the Office of Attorney General by Pennsylvania’s 67 District Attorneys or various other government agencies.

More Criminal Law Division

The Public Protection Division safeguards the personal rights of the citizens of Pennsylvania and protects the public interest. The Public Protection Division handles consumer complaints through the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Health Care Section, oversees Tobacco enforcement, Charitable Trusts and Organizations, Antitrust actions and Civil Rights Enforcement.

More Public Protection Division

The Civil Law Division defends the constitutionality of Pennsylvania law, represents Commonwealth agencies, defends the Commonwealth in tax appeals, collects delinquent taxes and other debts owed to the Commonwealth, handles or supervises various appeals and reviews Commonwealth contracts, regulations and bond issues for form and legality.

More Civil Law Division

The Office of Public Engagement prevents crime through outreach in communities across Pennsylvania. The office teaches young adults and parents about drug addiction and shows seniors how to avoid becoming the victim of a scam. Request a presentation and access resources from the office online.

More Office of Public Engagement

 

Michelle A. Henry

Michelle A. Henry, a life-long public servant and 26-year veteran prosecutor, is Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. Widely recognized for her work ethic and singular dedication to public service, Michelle rose from intern in the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office to now serve as the chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth.

 

Michelle was raised in Westmoreland County, graduated from Greensburg-Salem public schools and remains a proud Golden Lion. Her life and career have crisscrossed and impacted all of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and the Widener University School of Law, worked for the Westmoreland County Legal Aid Office, and clerked for now retired Lancaster County President Judge Michael Georgelis.

 

Before serving as First Deputy Attorney General, Michelle dedicated over 20 years of her career to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office – taking on critical jobs including Chief of Major Crimes, Chief of Child Abuse, and First Assistant. She was appointed Bucks County District Attorney with a bipartisan vote in 2008. In Bucks County, colleagues credited her for leading by example and being first in line for the toughest cases. Michelle was admired as an excellent attorney who also pushed major initiatives – she was instrumental in helping start the county’s children’s advocacy center and took a leading role in educating junior prosecutors from across the Commonwealth. 

 

As First Deputy Attorney General under former Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Henry was responsible for overseeing all of the Office’s legal matters, including criminal cases to seek justice for victims, civil suits representing the Commonwealth and public protection cases fighting for the rights of Pennsylvania consumers. During her tenure as First Deputy, Henry was recognized for her tireless work safeguarding the Office’s mission to protect and serve Pennsylvanians as the legal advocate for the Commonwealth. Chief among those honors was Henry’s admittance to the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America; and the receipt of Widener University Commonwealth Law School’s 2017 Excellence in Public Service Alumni Award for her “extraordinary contributions” to public service.

The heritage of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is one of the oldest and most divergent offices of public trust in the United States spanning over three centuries of life in the Commonwealth.

The office is marked by several significant periods in its history:

1643-1681: Attorneys General before William Penn
1686-1710: The Era of David Lloyd1717-1776: Proprietary Attorneys General
1776-1838: Early Constitutional Era
1838-1915: 19th and Early 20th Century Attorneys General
1915-1981: Modern Attorneys General
1981-present: Elected Attorneys General

The position of Attorney General was created in 1643, before the arrival of English Common Law, as an office within government of the area known as New Sweden. Appointees were selected by the King of Sweden.

The arrival of William Penn in 1681 as the proprietor of Pennsylvania began a continuing succession of notable Attorneys General including David Lloyd (1686-1710), who designed Pennsylvania’s first judicial system, and Andrew Hamilton (1717-1726), who defined the early role of the Office by making significant changes from the European systems of justice. (Hamilton later defended printer John Peter Zenger in a case that became the foundation for the concept of freedom of press.)

The “Proprietary” Attorneys General existed until 1776 when the Attorney General became a constitutional officer of the democratic Commonwealth. John Morris was the first Attorney General appointed under the Constitution.

The new constitutional office continued to grow in importance until 1840 when it suffered a period of regression. Various Attorneys General and the Governors who appointed them defined the duties of the Office in different and contradictory ways. By the year 1850, through improperly drafted legislation, the Office was stripped of its authority at the county level and was rendered almost powerless in state government.

It was not until 1915 that the General Assembly established new powers and duties for the Office including the authority to appoint more Deputy Attorneys General. Beginning in 1923, the Administrative Code made the Attorney General the administrator for the Pennsylvania Department of Justice.

Attorneys General
At the primary election of 1978, Pennsylvania voters approved a Constitutional amendment providing for the election of an Attorney General effective with the general election of 1980.

The Constitutional amendment was implemented by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act of 1980 which defined the duties and powers of the Attorney General. The Constitution further provided the Attorney General shall be the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be imposed by law.

Attorney General Took office Left office
LeRoy S. Zimmerman January 20, 1981 January 17, 1989
Ernie Preate January 17, 1989 June 23, 1995
Walter W. Cohen (acting) June 26, 1995 October 3, 1995
Tom Corbett October 3, 1995 January 21, 1997
Mike Fisher January 21, 1997 December 15, 2003
Jerry Pappert January 18, 2004 January 18, 2005
Tom Corbett January 18, 2005 January 18, 2011
William Ryan (acting) January 18, 2011 May 27, 2011
Linda Kelly May 27, 2011 January 15, 2013
Kathleen Kane January 15, 2013 August 17, 2016
Bruce Castor (acting) August 17, 2016 August 31, 2016
Bruce Beemer August 31, 2016 January 17, 2017
Josh Shapiro January 17, 2017 January 17, 2023
Michelle A. Henry January 17, 2023 Present

 

 

Mission

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General maintains the highest standards of ethics to protect life, property, and constitutional and consumer rights, so as to ensure safety and freedom for those living in and visiting the Commonwealth. We collaborate with partner agencies and groups to enforce the law and defend the interests of the Commonwealth and its diverse citizens.

Values

  • Integrity – We conduct ourselves with uncompromised honesty, honor, and ethics.
  • Human Dignity – We recognize the value, circumstances, and rights of all, including those charged under the law.
  • Justice – We will be unbiased and impartial in pursuit of accountability for those who breach state and federal laws to harm others.
  • Professionalism – We are accountable to the constituents we serve, and to each other, to act in the best interests of Pennsylvanians and will always aim for improvement and advancement.
  • Leadership – We demand ethical leadership from our team members while maintaining relationships with partner organizations who can entrust us to set and achieve a standard of excellence.

As provided by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the fundamental duties of the Attorney General are:

  • To be the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer charged with the responsibility for the prosecution of organized crime and public corruption. This law enforcement effort includes a criminal investigation unit and a drug law enforcement program as well as direction of statewide and multi-county investigating grand juries and a Medicaid Fraud Control Section
  • To collect, by suit or otherwise, all debts, taxes and accounts due the Commonwealth which shall be referred to and placed with the Attorney General
  • To represent the Commonwealth and all Commonwealth agencies and upon request the Auditor General, State Treasurer and Public Utility Commission in any action brought by or against the Commonwealth or its Agencies
  • To administer the provision relating to consumer protection laws
  • To represent the Commonwealth and its citizens in any action brought about for violation of the antitrust laws of the United States.

Oag J DonahueJames A. Donahue, III

James A. Donahue, III, will continue his 38-year career with the Office of the Attorney General as the First Deputy Attorney General. Jim joined OAG in 1985 and has risen through the ranks, first as Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Antitrust Section, then Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division, Acting Chief of Staff for the OAG and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General.

Before becoming First Deputy Attorney General, Jim has served as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division since 2018. During Jim’s time in PPD he was a major advocate for consumer rights with a record number of complaints resolved under his leadership. Jim will continue to be a major player in his new role in the fight against the opioid epidemic. He has been integral in holding major players like Purdue Pharma, CVS, Walgreens, and Johnson & Johnson accountable for their participation in the opioid crisis. As well, Jim worked to spearhead the movement to protect patients throughout Western Pennsylvania who risked losing access to healthcare because of a contract dispute between Highmark and UPMC.

Jim graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government, and completed his legal education at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh in 1984. In 2004, Jim won the Marvin Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for leadership in advancing the goals of the Association.


Oag J LobelJodi Lobel

Jodi Lobel continues her career with the Office of Attorney General as Chief of Staff. Since joining OAG in 2017, Lobel has served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General (EDAG) for Operations. In this position, she oversaw the administrative workings of the OAG, including Human Resources and Office Services, Labor Relations, Finance, Technology, Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging, and Training. She also worked with the Executive staff to develop and implement policy.

Prior to joining OAG, Ms. Lobel proudly served at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for 25 years, where she prosecuted cases in the Homicide, Major Trials, Habitual Offender, Juvenile and Municipal Court Units. Ms. Lobel held supervisory positions as Chief of the Felony Waiver Unit, as well as Chief of the Charging Unit and Deputy of the Pre-Trial Division where she led the development and implementation of extensive improvements to the pre-trial processes. Subsequently, she was Deputy of the Trial Division where she was in charge of six geographically zoned trial bureaus, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, and the Homicide Unit. Ms. Lobel also served as Deputy of Training and Special Projects where she created and implemented training curricula for Assistant District Attorneys of all experience levels, including supervisors.

Ms. Lobel is a frequent lecturer in the areas of supervisory, managerial, and leadership training, pre-trial processes and reform, trial and advanced trial advocacy, and eyewitness identification, and participates as faculty with the National Association of Attorneys General. Ms. Lobel was a recipient of The Legal Intelligencer “Woman of Distinction” award in 2010, and was also a member of the Pennsylvania Criminal Rules Committee by appointment of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Ms. Lobel earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law.


Oag K HeineKirsten Heine

Kirsten Heine steps into the role of Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff, following 23-years as a career prosecutor.

Since 2017, Kirsten has served as the Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Section for the Office of Attorney General. In this role, Kirsten oversaw the growth of the section and led investigations and prosecutions of hundreds of cases resulting in a great impact in the Commonwealth. Under her leadership, the Criminal Prosecution Section released the Roman Catholic Church Grand Jury report, prosecuted Glenn O. Hawbaker for 21 million dollars in wage theft, charged sitting District Attorneys with crimes, and held countless other public officials accountable for crimes committed in their official capacity. The work of the section continues to grow and now handles approximately 500 active investigations each year. While at OAG, Kirsten helped develop the Safe2Say Something program and is also a trainer at the Agent Academy.

Kirsten graduated from the City University of New York School of Law in 2000 and began her career as a prosecutor in the Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department, where she specialized in firearms prosecutions and engaged in community outreach and education about the risks associated with firearms. Following her time in New York, Kirsten spent 11 years with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office working with the Trial Division and later served as Assistant Chief of the Charging Unit, Chief of the Charging Unit, and Chief of South Bureau and East Bureau in the Trial Division.


Oag M WalshMichele Kelly Walsh 

Michele Kelly Walsh will start the next chapter in her 25 years as a prosecutor as the Office of Attorney General’s Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division.

As the former Chief Deputy AG of the Child Predator Section since 2017, Michele oversaw the prosecution of 500 predators and taken a leading role on policy issues regarding sex offenders and the sexual abuse of children — including SORNA, Juvenile Court Rules and Procedures, Institutional Sexual Assault, and sentencing concerns for prosecutors. Michele serves on the statewide Child Death Review team and recently concluded work on a statewide taskforce assessing the Sexual Abuse of Children statute.

Michele graduated from Temple University School of Law in 1997 and then joined the Bucks County DA’s office. She climbed the ranks from trial team member in the Special Victims Unit to Chief of Adult Sex Crimes and of Juvenile Prosecutions. Before Michele was appointed Chief Deputy AG for the Child Predator Section, she served as a Deputy AG in our Insurance Fraud Section from 2002-2007. She has a wide range of prosecutorial experience and will be able to lead our largest division with deft judgment and poise.


Oag K NearyKeli M. Neary

Keli M. Neary continues her career with the Office of Attorney General as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Law Division, a role in which she has served since 2019. Keli joined the office in 2012 and has climbed the ranks as Deputy Attorney General, Senior Deputy Attorney General, and Chief of the Civil Litigation Section into her current position.

Keli oversees the work of more than 120 attorneys and support staff in the Civil Law Division’s eight sections, all committed to defending the constitutionality of state statutes, representing Commonwealth agencies and employees in civil actions, collecting delinquent taxes and other debts owed to the Commonwealth, and reviewing state contracts and regulations for legality.

Keli’s work and leadership has been impactful in many high-profile matters of significant importance. She has worked to defend the integrity of Pennsylvania elections – the foundation of our freedom and liberty – and protected families and communities by defending laws that prevent access and distribution of ghost guns. As an OAG trial attorney, she worked on numerous injunctions and other complex litigation matters, representing nearly every agency and office of the Commonwealth.

Keli is a 2003 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (Johnstown) and a 2006 graduate of Widener University Commonwealth Law School. She is active in many organizations within the Harrisburg legal community, including serving as the vice president of the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court and the president-elect of the Middle District Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and is a member of the Widener Law Commonwealth Dean’s advisory board.


Oag M PacellaMark A. Pacella 

Mark A. Pacella is continuing his 35-year career with the Office of Attorney General in a new role as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division (PPD). PPD is responsible for Antitrust, Charitable Trusts and Organizations (CT&O), Consumer Protection, Civil Rights, Special Litigation, Health Care, Fair Labor, and the Tobacco Enforcement Sections.

Mark previously served as the Attorney-in-Charge of CT&O’s Western Regional Office prior to becoming the Chief Deputy Attorney General for CT&O state wide. Under Mark’s leadership as CDAG, the CT&O section assisted the Milton Hershey Trust in expanding to provide early childhood education for more children from low-income families.

During Mark’s tenure he served as a President of the National Association of State Charity Officials (“NASCO,” an affiliate of the National Association of Attorneys General). He also served on the Advisory Board of the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School; as a NASCO liaison to Part II of the American Law Institute’s project on the Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations; and as a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at the New York University School of Law.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, the Antioch School of Law, and a veteran of the United States Navy.

 

Michelle A. Henry

Michelle A. Henry, a life-long public servant and 26-year veteran prosecutor, is Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. Widely recognized for her work ethic and singular dedication to public service, Michelle rose from intern in the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office to now serve as the chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth.

 

Michelle was raised in Westmoreland County, graduated from Greensburg-Salem public schools and remains a proud Golden Lion. Her life and career have crisscrossed and impacted all of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and the Widener University School of Law, worked for the Westmoreland County Legal Aid Office, and clerked for now retired Lancaster County President Judge Michael Georgelis.

 

Before serving as First Deputy Attorney General, Michelle dedicated over 20 years of her career to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office – taking on critical jobs including Chief of Major Crimes, Chief of Child Abuse, and First Assistant. She was appointed Bucks County District Attorney with a bipartisan vote in 2008. In Bucks County, colleagues credited her for leading by example and being first in line for the toughest cases. Michelle was admired as an excellent attorney who also pushed major initiatives – she was instrumental in helping start the county’s children’s advocacy center and took a leading role in educating junior prosecutors from across the Commonwealth. 

 

As First Deputy Attorney General under former Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Henry was responsible for overseeing all of the Office’s legal matters, including criminal cases to seek justice for victims, civil suits representing the Commonwealth and public protection cases fighting for the rights of Pennsylvania consumers. During her tenure as First Deputy, Henry was recognized for her tireless work safeguarding the Office’s mission to protect and serve Pennsylvanians as the legal advocate for the Commonwealth. Chief among those honors was Henry’s admittance to the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America; and the receipt of Widener University Commonwealth Law School’s 2017 Excellence in Public Service Alumni Award for her “extraordinary contributions” to public service.

The heritage of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is one of the oldest and most divergent offices of public trust in the United States spanning over three centuries of life in the Commonwealth.

The office is marked by several significant periods in its history:

1643-1681: Attorneys General before William Penn
1686-1710: The Era of David Lloyd1717-1776: Proprietary Attorneys General
1776-1838: Early Constitutional Era
1838-1915: 19th and Early 20th Century Attorneys General
1915-1981: Modern Attorneys General
1981-present: Elected Attorneys General

The position of Attorney General was created in 1643, before the arrival of English Common Law, as an office within government of the area known as New Sweden. Appointees were selected by the King of Sweden.

The arrival of William Penn in 1681 as the proprietor of Pennsylvania began a continuing succession of notable Attorneys General including David Lloyd (1686-1710), who designed Pennsylvania’s first judicial system, and Andrew Hamilton (1717-1726), who defined the early role of the Office by making significant changes from the European systems of justice. (Hamilton later defended printer John Peter Zenger in a case that became the foundation for the concept of freedom of press.)

The “Proprietary” Attorneys General existed until 1776 when the Attorney General became a constitutional officer of the democratic Commonwealth. John Morris was the first Attorney General appointed under the Constitution.

The new constitutional office continued to grow in importance until 1840 when it suffered a period of regression. Various Attorneys General and the Governors who appointed them defined the duties of the Office in different and contradictory ways. By the year 1850, through improperly drafted legislation, the Office was stripped of its authority at the county level and was rendered almost powerless in state government.

It was not until 1915 that the General Assembly established new powers and duties for the Office including the authority to appoint more Deputy Attorneys General. Beginning in 1923, the Administrative Code made the Attorney General the administrator for the Pennsylvania Department of Justice.

Attorneys General
At the primary election of 1978, Pennsylvania voters approved a Constitutional amendment providing for the election of an Attorney General effective with the general election of 1980.

The Constitutional amendment was implemented by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act of 1980 which defined the duties and powers of the Attorney General. The Constitution further provided the Attorney General shall be the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be imposed by law.

Attorney General Took office Left office
LeRoy S. Zimmerman January 20, 1981 January 17, 1989
Ernie Preate January 17, 1989 June 23, 1995
Walter W. Cohen (acting) June 26, 1995 October 3, 1995
Tom Corbett October 3, 1995 January 21, 1997
Mike Fisher January 21, 1997 December 15, 2003
Jerry Pappert January 18, 2004 January 18, 2005
Tom Corbett January 18, 2005 January 18, 2011
William Ryan (acting) January 18, 2011 May 27, 2011
Linda Kelly May 27, 2011 January 15, 2013
Kathleen Kane January 15, 2013 August 17, 2016
Bruce Castor (acting) August 17, 2016 August 31, 2016
Bruce Beemer August 31, 2016 January 17, 2017
Josh Shapiro January 17, 2017 January 17, 2023
Michelle A. Henry January 17, 2023 Present

 

 

Mission

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General maintains the highest standards of ethics to protect life, property, and constitutional and consumer rights, so as to ensure safety and freedom for those living in and visiting the Commonwealth. We collaborate with partner agencies and groups to enforce the law and defend the interests of the Commonwealth and its diverse citizens.

Values

  • Integrity – We conduct ourselves with uncompromised honesty, honor, and ethics.
  • Human Dignity – We recognize the value, circumstances, and rights of all, including those charged under the law.
  • Justice – We will be unbiased and impartial in pursuit of accountability for those who breach state and federal laws to harm others.
  • Professionalism – We are accountable to the constituents we serve, and to each other, to act in the best interests of Pennsylvanians and will always aim for improvement and advancement.
  • Leadership – We demand ethical leadership from our team members while maintaining relationships with partner organizations who can entrust us to set and achieve a standard of excellence.

As provided by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the fundamental duties of the Attorney General are:

  • To be the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer charged with the responsibility for the prosecution of organized crime and public corruption. This law enforcement effort includes a criminal investigation unit and a drug law enforcement program as well as direction of statewide and multi-county investigating grand juries and a Medicaid Fraud Control Section
  • To collect, by suit or otherwise, all debts, taxes and accounts due the Commonwealth which shall be referred to and placed with the Attorney General
  • To represent the Commonwealth and all Commonwealth agencies and upon request the Auditor General, State Treasurer and Public Utility Commission in any action brought by or against the Commonwealth or its Agencies
  • To administer the provision relating to consumer protection laws
  • To represent the Commonwealth and its citizens in any action brought about for violation of the antitrust laws of the United States.

Oag J DonahueJames A. Donahue, III

James A. Donahue, III, will continue his 38-year career with the Office of the Attorney General as the First Deputy Attorney General. Jim joined OAG in 1985 and has risen through the ranks, first as Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Antitrust Section, then Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division, Acting Chief of Staff for the OAG and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General.

Before becoming First Deputy Attorney General, Jim has served as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division since 2018. During Jim’s time in PPD he was a major advocate for consumer rights with a record number of complaints resolved under his leadership. Jim will continue to be a major player in his new role in the fight against the opioid epidemic. He has been integral in holding major players like Purdue Pharma, CVS, Walgreens, and Johnson & Johnson accountable for their participation in the opioid crisis. As well, Jim worked to spearhead the movement to protect patients throughout Western Pennsylvania who risked losing access to healthcare because of a contract dispute between Highmark and UPMC.

Jim graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government, and completed his legal education at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh in 1984. In 2004, Jim won the Marvin Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for leadership in advancing the goals of the Association.


Oag J LobelJodi Lobel

Jodi Lobel continues her career with the Office of Attorney General as Chief of Staff. Since joining OAG in 2017, Lobel has served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General (EDAG) for Operations. In this position, she oversaw the administrative workings of the OAG, including Human Resources and Office Services, Labor Relations, Finance, Technology, Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging, and Training. She also worked with the Executive staff to develop and implement policy.

Prior to joining OAG, Ms. Lobel proudly served at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for 25 years, where she prosecuted cases in the Homicide, Major Trials, Habitual Offender, Juvenile and Municipal Court Units. Ms. Lobel held supervisory positions as Chief of the Felony Waiver Unit, as well as Chief of the Charging Unit and Deputy of the Pre-Trial Division where she led the development and implementation of extensive improvements to the pre-trial processes. Subsequently, she was Deputy of the Trial Division where she was in charge of six geographically zoned trial bureaus, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, and the Homicide Unit. Ms. Lobel also served as Deputy of Training and Special Projects where she created and implemented training curricula for Assistant District Attorneys of all experience levels, including supervisors.

Ms. Lobel is a frequent lecturer in the areas of supervisory, managerial, and leadership training, pre-trial processes and reform, trial and advanced trial advocacy, and eyewitness identification, and participates as faculty with the National Association of Attorneys General. Ms. Lobel was a recipient of The Legal Intelligencer “Woman of Distinction” award in 2010, and was also a member of the Pennsylvania Criminal Rules Committee by appointment of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Ms. Lobel earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law.


Oag K HeineKirsten Heine

Kirsten Heine steps into the role of Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff, following 23-years as a career prosecutor.

Since 2017, Kirsten has served as the Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Section for the Office of Attorney General. In this role, Kirsten oversaw the growth of the section and led investigations and prosecutions of hundreds of cases resulting in a great impact in the Commonwealth. Under her leadership, the Criminal Prosecution Section released the Roman Catholic Church Grand Jury report, prosecuted Glenn O. Hawbaker for 21 million dollars in wage theft, charged sitting District Attorneys with crimes, and held countless other public officials accountable for crimes committed in their official capacity. The work of the section continues to grow and now handles approximately 500 active investigations each year. While at OAG, Kirsten helped develop the Safe2Say Something program and is also a trainer at the Agent Academy.

Kirsten graduated from the City University of New York School of Law in 2000 and began her career as a prosecutor in the Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department, where she specialized in firearms prosecutions and engaged in community outreach and education about the risks associated with firearms. Following her time in New York, Kirsten spent 11 years with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office working with the Trial Division and later served as Assistant Chief of the Charging Unit, Chief of the Charging Unit, and Chief of South Bureau and East Bureau in the Trial Division.


Oag M WalshMichele Kelly Walsh 

Michele Kelly Walsh will start the next chapter in her 25 years as a prosecutor as the Office of Attorney General’s Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division.

As the former Chief Deputy AG of the Child Predator Section since 2017, Michele oversaw the prosecution of 500 predators and taken a leading role on policy issues regarding sex offenders and the sexual abuse of children — including SORNA, Juvenile Court Rules and Procedures, Institutional Sexual Assault, and sentencing concerns for prosecutors. Michele serves on the statewide Child Death Review team and recently concluded work on a statewide taskforce assessing the Sexual Abuse of Children statute.

Michele graduated from Temple University School of Law in 1997 and then joined the Bucks County DA’s office. She climbed the ranks from trial team member in the Special Victims Unit to Chief of Adult Sex Crimes and of Juvenile Prosecutions. Before Michele was appointed Chief Deputy AG for the Child Predator Section, she served as a Deputy AG in our Insurance Fraud Section from 2002-2007. She has a wide range of prosecutorial experience and will be able to lead our largest division with deft judgment and poise.


Oag K NearyKeli M. Neary

Keli M. Neary continues her career with the Office of Attorney General as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Law Division, a role in which she has served since 2019. Keli joined the office in 2012 and has climbed the ranks as Deputy Attorney General, Senior Deputy Attorney General, and Chief of the Civil Litigation Section into her current position.

Keli oversees the work of more than 120 attorneys and support staff in the Civil Law Division’s eight sections, all committed to defending the constitutionality of state statutes, representing Commonwealth agencies and employees in civil actions, collecting delinquent taxes and other debts owed to the Commonwealth, and reviewing state contracts and regulations for legality.

Keli’s work and leadership has been impactful in many high-profile matters of significant importance. She has worked to defend the integrity of Pennsylvania elections – the foundation of our freedom and liberty – and protected families and communities by defending laws that prevent access and distribution of ghost guns. As an OAG trial attorney, she worked on numerous injunctions and other complex litigation matters, representing nearly every agency and office of the Commonwealth.

Keli is a 2003 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (Johnstown) and a 2006 graduate of Widener University Commonwealth Law School. She is active in many organizations within the Harrisburg legal community, including serving as the vice president of the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court and the president-elect of the Middle District Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and is a member of the Widener Law Commonwealth Dean’s advisory board.


Oag M PacellaMark A. Pacella 

Mark A. Pacella is continuing his 35-year career with the Office of Attorney General in a new role as Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Public Protection Division (PPD). PPD is responsible for Antitrust, Charitable Trusts and Organizations (CT&O), Consumer Protection, Civil Rights, Special Litigation, Health Care, Fair Labor, and the Tobacco Enforcement Sections.

Mark previously served as the Attorney-in-Charge of CT&O’s Western Regional Office prior to becoming the Chief Deputy Attorney General for CT&O state wide. Under Mark’s leadership as CDAG, the CT&O section assisted the Milton Hershey Trust in expanding to provide early childhood education for more children from low-income families.

During Mark’s tenure he served as a President of the National Association of State Charity Officials (“NASCO,” an affiliate of the National Association of Attorneys General). He also served on the Advisory Board of the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School; as a NASCO liaison to Part II of the American Law Institute’s project on the Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations; and as a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at the New York University School of Law.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, the Antioch School of Law, and a veteran of the United States Navy.