Scott Appoints Susanne Young Attorney General | Environment | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Scott Appoints Susanne Young Attorney General


Published June 22, 2022 at 2:46 p.m.

Susanne Young - STATE OF VERMONT
  • State of Vermont
  • Susanne Young
Gov. Phil Scott announced Wednesday that he has appointed one of his closest advisers, former secretary of administration Susanne Young, to serve as attorney general following T.J. Donovan’s decision to take a private sector job.

Young retired in October after a 40-year career in state government during which she rose to become one of the most influential members of Scott’s administration.

When she retired, Scott called her one of the “most distinguished public servants in Vermont history.”

She'll fill the remaining six months of Donovan’s term as the state’s top attorney following his surprise decision to step down as of Monday to take a job at the online gaming platform Roblox. Young will start July 5.

“There are few with the experience and skillset needed to ensure this important office is stable and fully prepared to help transition to a newly elected attorney general in January,” Scott said in a release. “Susanne is the embodiment of public service, and it is especially meaningful that she will be the first woman to serve as Vermont’s top law enforcement officer.”

When Donovan announced his departure, he noted that his role would be filled by Chief Deputy Attorney General Joshua Diamond unless Scott appointed someone else. Donovan argued that Diamond’s experience and the impending August 9 primaries that could determine his successor made an appointment by Scott unnecessary.

“Diamond is one of the most experienced and well-regarded attorneys in Vermont and has the experience, knowledge, and ability to lead the Attorney General’s Office through this transition,” Donovan wrote at the time.

Scott’s appointment upends that transition plan.

Young graduated from Vermont Law School in 1981 and worked in the Attorney General's Office in various capacities for 23 years. She was a deputy attorney general under former attorney general Bill Sorrell, and rose to be director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and chief of the Criminal Justice Division.

She has also been deputy treasurer, legal counsel to the governor, and general counsel for the Vermont Department of Corrections.

Young pledged to run the office in a way that results in a “seamless transition” for the next AG.

“I am honored and excited to return and serve until the next attorney general takes office," Young said in the release.

Donovans’s former chief of staff, Charity Clark, and Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault are vying to be the Democratic nominee for AG. Also running in the primaries are Progressive candidate Elijah Bergman and perennial GOP candidate H. Brooke Paige.

Young has no intention of joining the race, Scott's spokesperson Rebecca Kelley said.

“This appointment is about leading the office through the transition,” Kelley said.

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