Corbett names Pittsburgh lawyer as chief of staff

Gov.-elect Corbett has named a Pittsburgh attorney, who recently represented one of the defendants in the Corbett's Bonusgate investigation - as his new chief of staff.

William Ward, 59, a longtime Corbett associate and former top deputy, works for the Pittsburgh law firm, Ward McGough, LLC where he has handled a range of litigation, including white collar criminal cases. Among his recent clients was Rachel Manzo, a former state House employee, who pleaded guilty to a single count of theft of services in connection with the Bonusgate probe. 

Manzo's husband, Mike, a former chief of staff to ex-House Democratic leader Bill DeWeese, took a plea deal as part of the same probe - launched by Attorney General Corbett almost three years ago - into state bonuses allegedly given to those who worked on campaigns.  

Corbett's original pick for chief of staff, campaign manager Brian Nutt, departed abruptly last month to join a political consulting firm.

Between 1997 and 2003, Ward served as Chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole, where he oversaw more than 1,000 employees in 54 offices across the state. In 1996 and 1997, Ward was Corbett’s First Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for and where he was chief of the economic crimes section.

Ward also serves as solicitor for the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board, has been a council member for three sections of the Allegheny County Bar Association and is past chairman of the Federal Court Council.


Nutt resigned only weeks after being appointed last month to join Brabender Cox, as managing director of its new Harrisburg office, saying he wanted to pursue politics and campaigns.


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