The University of Virginia has hired an attorney from the University of Kentucky as its new top counsel.
According to The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Attorney General Jason Miyares announced on Friday that Cliff Iler will become senior assistant attorney general and university counsel for UVA. Miyares sacked Tim Heaphy as the school’s chief lawyer three months prior to the announcement. The attorney general appoints school counsel at Virginia’s public colleges and universities. Heaphy had taken a leave of absence from his job to serve as the lead investigator for a House of Representatives commission examining the Capitol insurgency on Jan. 6, 2021.
A representative for Miyares, a Republican who took office in mid-January, stated at the time that the change was made because Heaphy had been a “controversial” hire in 2018. According to the spokeswoman, Miyares’ Democratic predecessor, Mark Herring, had also “excluded numerous competent internal applicants” at the time. That assessment of Heaphy’s hire, according to Herring’s former chief of staff, is incorrect. In the November election, Miyares triumphed over Herring. Miyares chose someone who worked in a different state when he hired Iler.
The Louisville native was previously the University of Kentucky’s deputy general counsel for faculty, students, and research, as well as the school’s associate general counsel for health care operations and health care colleges. Iler, who formerly worked for a legal firm in Atlanta for 16 years, will lead a staff of nine attorneys, including three for UVA’s health system.
Iler “is a talented attorney,” according to Miyares, who added, “I am convinced he will be an exceptional addition to the University of Virginia and serve the students, professors, staff, and commonwealth well.”