Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett has found a new chief of staff. attorney He's Pittsburgh Bill Ward.
On December 7, Corbett named longtime aide Brian Nutt as his chief of staff. But days before Christmas, Nutt announced he wouldn’t take the job, and would instead become a campaign consultant, instead.
Corbett has now tapped Ward for the post, which former Rendell Chief of Staff John Estey describes as having two main functions.
"The first was to manage the governor’s staff – the governor’s day-to-day activities. To make sure that everybody was pursing the appropriate and timely policy agenda the governor wanted to implement. The second role of the governor’s chief of staff was to work on legislative matters. To be part of the team liaison with the legislature, to try and negotiate the legislative agenda."
Estey says the best advice he got going into the job was that “there’s nothing you can mess up so badly that you can’t fix it.”
Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley says the administration will be set up the same way under Ward as it would have been if longtime Corbett aide Brian Nutt stayed on the job.
"The deputies still will report to the chief of staff. For example, the director of communication, the director of planning, the director of scheduling, the director – secretary of legislative affairs. They all report to the chief of staff."
Harley insists Corbett’s transition team didn’t lose any momentum by searching for a new chief of staff over the last two weeks.
Ward was Corbett’s top staffer during the Republican’s first stint as Attorney General, in the mid-90s. Before that, the two men worked together in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Pittsburgh.