The recess appointment of James Cole as deputy attorney general has prompted some personnel moves in the front office at the Justice Department, as the acting second-in-charge moves over to become the attorney general’s chief of staff.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. this afternoon named Gary Grindler, who has served as the acting deputy attorney general since February 2010, as the new chief of staff effective Jan. 17. Grindler replaces Kevin Ohlson, who is returning to his career service with the department. DOJ officials did not immediately announce where Ohlson is moving within the department.
Grindler, a former King & Spalding partner, had been filling in as Holder’s deputy ever since David Ogden returned to his partnership in the Washington office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Ogden is co-chair of the firm’s government and regulatory litigation group. Grindler joined the department in the Obama administration as a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division under the leadership of Lanny Breuer.
“As he has throughout his career, Gary Grindler showed remarkable leadership under difficult circumstances as Acting Deputy Attorney General over the past year, and I could not be more pleased that he has agreed to continue that service in this new role as my chief of staff,” Holder said in a written statement today. “He will continue to be a key leader in our work to protect the American people, ensure the fairness and integrity of our financial markets, and invigorate the traditional missions of the department.”
Holder said Ohlson has been an “extraordinary public servant through a long career at the department, and while I am sorry to lose him from my office, I am grateful for his tireless work leading my staff the past two years.”
Ohlson, a former federal prosecutor, has previously served as the director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review and chief of staff for the deputy attorney general.