Leslie Anne Miller, general counsel to the commonwealth, has resigned due to an appearance of a conflict of interest created by a lawsuit she filed to stop Penn State University from dissolving the Dickinson School of Law's board of governors and creating dual law school campuses.
Miller released a statement explaining the reasons for her resignation. She said Dickinson Law's long-term existence in Carlisle would be threatened if Penn State opened a second campus in State College.
'In order to fulfill my fiduciary duty as a member of the board of Dickinson School of Law, I shall continue to participate as a plaintiff in the lawsuit,' Miller said.
She went on to say that she enjoyed her two years as Rendell's general counsel but that 'Dickinson School of Law's survival is more important to me and my family than my job.'
Kate Phillips, a spokeswoman for Gov. Edward G. Rendell, said the governor 'reluctantly' accepted Miller's resignation March 1. She said that the governor was not angry with Miller and that she had served the administration well for the past two years.
Miller, the former president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, attended Dickinson Law and sits on its board of governors.
Phillips said that one of Miller's deputy general counsel, Scott Roy, will serve as interim general counsel. But she was quick to point out that Roy was not serving as acting general counsel and that the governor would be searching for a replacement. Roy is one of four deputies and is a holdover from the Ridge administration. He is in charge of administration and mediation.
Miller, who lives with her family in Montgomery County, said her long-term career goals include returning to the practice of law at a Philadelphia firm.
Before joining the governor's staff as general counsel, Miller was a partner at McKissock & Hoffman in Philadelphia.
'I just found out about it today,' McKissock & Hoffman partner Peter Hoffman said. 'We have kept in touch but I haven't spoken to her in the last two or three weeks since this whole thing with the law school started. I'd love to have her back but I don't know what her plans are.'