Attorney General Van Hollen Announces Transition Planning Underway at the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Nov 25 2014
Attorney General Van Hollen Announces Transition Planning Underway at the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Attorney General-elect Brad Schimel Announces Transition Team

and Deputy Attorney General Appointment  


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced that his office is working closely with Attorney General-elect Brad Schimel and his team to ensure a smooth transition for the Department of Justice and those it serves ahead of Brad Schimel’s inauguration as Attorney General on January 5, 2015. 


General-elect Schimel today announced that he will appoint Andrew C. Cook to serve as Deputy Attorney General upon taking the oath of office in January.


“Andrew was a key advisor to my campaign, where he displayed his broad knowledge of civil law and state government,” Schimel said.  “He is a trusted advisor and his abilities will serve the Wisconsin Department of Justice well in protecting our citizens.”


“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside law enforcement’s choice for Attorney General, Brad Schimel,” Cook said.  “Brad Schimel is the leader Wisconsin needs to combat serious public safety threats, as well as threats of an overreaching federal government, and I am honored to join him in this fight.”


Andrew Cook has been an attorney at the Hamilton Consulting Group, LLC for the past six years, where he has represented a variety of clients before the Wisconsin Legislature and state agencies. Prior to that, Cook was in-house legal counsel for the Building Industry Association of Washington, where he worked on environmental, land use, and open government issues. Cook also was an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he litigated land use and environmental law cases.


Cook earned his law degree (cum laude) from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  There, he also co-founded and served as president of the Habitat for Humanity Chapter. He earned his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Mr. Cook is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and was elected to the Environmental Law Section.


Cook will serve as chairman of the transition team, and former Schimel campaign manager John P. Koremenos Jr. will serve as transition director. Koremenos may be reached by phone at 608-266-1220, or by email at In addition to Cook and Koremenos, the transition team is composed of a number of community leaders with a variety of backgrounds.  Members include: Ave Bie, Michael Brennan, Mark Cameli, Margaret Farrow, Brian O’Keefe and Raymond Taffora.


Ave Bie – In addition to being a managing partner at the Madison office of Quarles and Brady, Ave Bie serves on the board of the Green Bay Packers. Bie is the former chair of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and has a wide knowledge of state and local government positions and counseling utilities and independent power producers.


Michael Brennan – After nine years as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge, Brennan joined Gass Weber Mullins LLC, where he tries cases and handles appeals in federal and state courts, primarily in the area of commercial litigation.


Mark Cameli – Cameli’s distinguished career in private practice was preceded by his work as chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Wisconsin. Currently, Cameli is a member of Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren’s Board of Directors and a shareholder in the Litigation Practice, where he chairs the White Collar Litigation and Corporate Compliance team.


Lt. Gov Margaret Farrow – Farrow’s lifelong involvement in Wisconsin politics started in the Wisconsin State Assembly, where she served one term. Farrow served in the State Senate from 1989 until 2001, when she became Lieutenant Governor. Farrow currently serves as a University of Wisconsin Regent, in addition to her roles on numerous community and non-profit boards.


Brian O’Keefe – As administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Services for the last three years, O’Keefe brings his expansive career in public safety as well as his experience in corporate security to the table. O’Keefe is a leader among law enforcement professionals and an expert in public safety areas such as criminal investigation, law enforcement training, and criminal justice management.


Raymond Taffora – As vice chancellor for legal affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Taffora brings his experience as former Deputy Attorney General and Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Tommy Thompson. In addition to Taffora’s extensive public service, he brings nearly two decades of the practice of law in the private sector.