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The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania has named lawyer Richard W. Long as its new chief counsel.

Long is set to replace Robert Graci, who was the board’s top lawyer for the last six years. Graci’s retirement was confirmed in August.

Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson, who currently serves as the board chair, said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon that the board began its search for a new chief counsel shortly after Graci informed it of his intention to retire at the end of the year.

“For the past six years, Judge Graci has honorably and faithfully served the board and the commonwealth as the board’s chief counsel,” Brobson said. “We are grateful to Bob for his steady and ethical leadership and wish him the very best.”

Long expressed enthusiasm in taking on his new role.

“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the important work of the Judicial Conduct Board,” Long said in the statement. “The excellent reputation of the dedicated men and women of the board and its staff is well-earned. I look forward to joining them in their mission to further the independence and integrity of our judiciary.”

According to the JCB, Long joins the board from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, where he held the position of executive director for the past eight years.

Since May 1989, he has served in the United States Army Reserve, most recently in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, with the rank of colonel. Before working for the District Attorneys Association, Long worked for the Cleveland Browns NFL team, maintained a private law practice in the Harrisburg, and served for nearly four years as a deputy district attorney in Dauphin County. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College, University of Miami School of Law and the United States Army War College.

The annual salary for the chief counsel position ranges from $130,000 to $168,000.

In an interview this past August, Graci, formerly a state judge, said age was the primary factor in his decision to retire and cited the need to have more control over his time so that he can spend more of it with his wife, children and grandchildren.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had a very wonderful career, to do some things that I never thought I would have the chance to do,” like arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Graci said.

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