The governor of the state appoints 2 assistants to different positions

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Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Karen Whatley – who has been Director of Legislative and Agency Affairs in her office since August 2018 – as Chief Legal Counsel and Jordan Burgess – who has served as Senior Health Policy Advisor since May 2019 – as a replacement for Whatley.

“Karen and Jordan have played an important role in my administration,” Hutchinson said in a press release. Karen has helped guide legislation to transform state government. Jordan and Karen have been at the forefront of our response to COVID-19. Each has hard-earned experience that will benefit Arkansas as they take charge. their new roles. “

Whatley replaces Mary Robin Casteel, whose last day was Oct. 8 and “has moved on to the private sector,” Hutchinson spokeswoman Shealyn Sowers said.

Casteel said on Tuesday she had a “new opportunity” that she was not ready to divulge.

Whatley’s salary is $ 133,050 per year as chief legal counsel, a position she held on Monday, Sowers said. His salary was $ 123,049 per year as director of legislative and agency affairs, according to the Arkansas Transparency website. The website shows that Casteel’s salary as chief legal counsel was $ 115,364 per year.

Whatley was an associate lawyer in the United States for almost 14 years, then worked for Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard before becoming executive director of the Arkansas Medical Board, where she worked for two years before. to join the governor’s office, according to the governor’s office.

Burgess’s salary is $ 115,000 per year as director of legislative and agency affairs, which she assumed on Monday, Sowers said. Burgess’ salary as a senior health policy adviser was $ 104,499 per year, according to the Arkansas Transparency website. Prior to joining the governor’s office, she was assistant general counsel at Delta Dental of Arkansas, according to the governor’s office.

Whatley and Burgess both received their law degrees from the present William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Whatley graduated from law in 1994 and Burgess in 2012.


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