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D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti submitted his resignation on Monday to Mayor Anthony Williams. His exit is part of an exodus of some high-ranking city officials before likely mayoral successor Adrian Fenty shakes up D.C. government. “Nobody should have one of these high-level jobs for too long,” Spagnoletti says. “There needs to be fresh blood and new ideas when the administration changes.” Spagnoletti will spend his last day at the Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 13 before becoming a partner at the small yet high-profile D.C. firm of Schertler & Onorato on Nov. 6. After spending the past three and a half years overseeing more than 600 assistant attorneys general and support staff, Spagnoletti will move to a 12-attorney firm that recently relocated to 601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Spagnoletti tells Legal Times he has not spoken with Fenty about his plans for the Attorney General’s Office, but he feels it is best to let the next mayor choose his own appointment. Fenty, the Ward 4 D.C. Council member, crushed all contenders in the Sept. 12 Democratic mayoral primary and faces only nominal opposition in the November general election. After campaigning on a theme of change, Fenty has already threatened to dump Fire Department Chief Adrian Thompson and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Charles Ramsey, but he has not publicly criticized Spagnoletti. Former City Administrator Robert Bobb last month announced his resignation and his intention to enter the race for D.C. School Board president. Spagnoletti believes that as the District’s first attorney general, he helped restore the credibility of the former Office of the Corporation Counsel, streamline its structure, and improve its resources. “I think over the past three and a half years we’ve done a really good job, where the office has gained respect and better morale,” Spagnoletti says. “We really became the state-level attorney general, which I think we need to be.” Spagnoletti has recommended that Williams name Chief Deputy Attorney General Eugene Adams as interim attorney general for the rest of Williams’ administration, which ends Jan. 2. Mayoral spokesman Vincent Morris said Tuesday afternoon he had not spoken with Williams but suspects the mayor will defer to Spagnoletti’s recommendation. Spagnoletti, who also spent 13 years as an assistant U.S. attorney, says he is ready to leave the public sector and was persuaded to join Schertler & Onorato because of the benefits of being in a small firm where he will work on white-collar criminal defense and civil litigation. Partner Danny Onorato calls Spagnoletti “a magnificent lawyer with a tremendous reputation” who “will enhance our firm given his broad experience and his unique talents.”
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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