All signs point to go for Brownlee's run at AG

John O'Brien May 19, 2008, 1:53pm


ROANOKE, Va. - Having just resigned his post as a U.S. Attorney, John Brownlee is expected to announce his candidacy for Virginia's Attorney General spot on Tuesday.

Brownlee has organized an 11 a.m. news conference to let his intentions be known. The 43-year-old Republican would be looking to replace Bob McDonnell, who is running for Governor in 2009.

Brownlee officially left his U.S. Attorney's office Friday. He was appointed to it in 2001 by President Bush and led the criminal prosecution of prescription drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty last year to misrepresenting the addiction capabilities of its painkiller OxyContin. The company and three of its top executives paid $634.5 million in fines last year.

It has also paid a $27 million settlement to 20 state attorneys general, and a $10 million settlement to West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw.

Kentucky's case is pending, and the McGraw settlement has caused great debate in West Virginia.

Brownlee was one of several U.S. Attorneys named on President Bush's firing list and testified that he was told he was on it because he would not back off the prosecution of Purdue Pharma, the report says.

Virginia state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli has already announced his 2009 run at Attorney General. He is also a Republican.

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