William H. Ryan Jr. Becomes Acting Pennsylvania Attorney General

HARRISBURG – William H. Ryan Jr. has become Acting Attorney General for Pennsylvania following the departure of Tom Corbett, who took the oath of office yesterday as Governor.

Ryan brings a wealth of experience to his role as Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement officer. A career prosecutor, Ryan has worked to protect the citizens of Pennsylvania for nearly three decades – serving as a county District Attorney, the head of the Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division and most recently as First Deputy Attorney General.

Under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, Ryan – who has served as First Deputy Attorney General – assumes all of the powers and duties of the Attorney General upon a vacancy in the office. He will continue to serve until such time as the Governor nominates and the Pennsylvania Senate confirms a person who will fill the position for the balance of the unexpired term. The current term for Attorney General continues through January 2013.

“The hard working men and women of the Attorney General’s Office have dedicated their careers to making Pennsylvania a safer place to live and work,” Ryan said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this fine organization and continue our important mission.”

Since 1997 Ryan has offered advice and guidance to three Pennsylvania Attorneys General.  He was appointed the First Deputy by both Attorney General Tom Corbett and Jerry Pappert, overseeing legal and administrative matters for the Office of Attorney General.  Prior to that, Ryan headed the Criminal Law Division under Attorney General Mike Fisher, directing investigations involving organized crime, narcotics trafficking and other public safety matters.

Before joining the Attorney General’s Office in 1997, Ryan was twice elected the District Attorney of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He began his legal career with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office in 1972, working as a legal intern while in law school, and rose to the position of first assistant district attorney in 1981, a post he held until being elected District Attorney in 1987. Ryan was also President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association in 1993-94.

Ryan graduated from St. Joseph’s University and Villanova Law School and lives in Delaware County with his wife Debra.  They have two sons, Dan and Chris.


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