After nearly two decades as Vermont's top prosecutor, Attorney General Bill Sorrell will leave Montpelier in January and head to — China.
Vermont Law School announced Wednesday that the 69-year-old Democrat, who chose not to run for a 10th full term, has been named an honorary visiting scholar at VLS and will join its U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law. The yearlong gig will involve a stint in February and March working with schools and legal advocates in China, according to VLS spokeswoman Maryellen Apelquist.
Founded in 2006, the partnership works to "promote environmental governance in Asia," according to Apelquist, and includes projects in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
"Attorney General Bill Sorrell is a familiar and respected face on the Vermont Law School campus, and we are honored that he has agreed to work with us to advance environmental issues and advocacy," VLS assistant professor and partnership director Siu Tip Lam said in a written statement.
Sorrell, who declined an interview request, said in his own statement Wednesday, "While I'm contemplating what to do longer term, I'm pleased to spend up to two months in a country I've never visited, sharing some of my knowledge and experiences relating to environmental, public health, prosecution and [genetically-modified organisms] issues at several different law schools and universities in five different cities and regions of China."
Replacing Sorrell as attorney general will be fellow Democrat T.J. Donovan, who plans to step down from his post as Chittenden County state's attorney. Sorrell's top deputy, Susanne Young, was named Tuesday as governor-elect Phil Scott's administration secretary.