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Lawyer at Kentucky school hired to be UVA's lead counsel

Posted at 7:39 PM, Apr 30, 2022

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — An attorney working at the University of Kentucky has been hired as the new top lawyer for the University of Virginia.

Attorney General Jason Miyares on Friday revealed Cliff Iler will become senior assistant attorney general and university counsel to UVA, The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reported.

The announcement came roughly three months after Miyares fired Tim Heaphy as the school’s top counsel. School counsel within Virginia’s public colleges and universities are appointed by the attorney general. Heaphy had been on leave from the job to work as the top investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.

At the time of the shakeup, a spokesperson for Miyares - a Republican who took office in mid-January - said the change was made because Heaphy had been a “controversial” hire in 2018. Miyares’ Democratic predecessor, Mark Herring, also had “excluded many qualified internal candidates” at the time, the spokesperson said. Herring’s former chief of staff called that characterization of Heaphy’s hiring inaccurate. Miyares edged Herring in the November election.

In hiring Iler, Miyares chose someone working in another state. The Louisville native recently served as the deputy general counsel for faculty, students and research at the University of Kentucky and associate general counsel for the school’s health care operations and health care colleges. Iler, who also spent 16 years with a law firm in Atlanta, will supervise a team of nine other attorneys, including three for UVA’s health system.

Iler “is a brilliant attorney" and “I am confident he will be an excellent addition to the University of Virginia and serve the students, faculty, staff, and commonwealth well," Miyares said in a news release.