Legal counsel revamps staff

Nov 122008
Authors: Jim Sojourner

Editor’s note: Dell Rae Moellenberg’s name has been changed to the correct spelling.

Amid substantial department overhauls under former CSU President Larry Penley’s tenure, nearly all of CSU’s legal staff was replaced over the past several months after almost every attorney in the office left earlier in the year, university officials said Wednesday.

The replacements came after students, faculty and state officials have called for more transparency in university financial reporting.

Dell Rae Moellenberg, a university spokesperson, said the five attorneys left CSU for unrelated reasons, some for personal reasons and others to seek new employment opportunities.

Bob Shur left the counsel in February and now oversees contracts in purchasing for the university, Loretta Martinez left in April, Donna Aurand in May, Laurence Pendleton in July and Judy Schmidt in August.

To fill the five vacant positions, Jannine Mohr was hired in June. Jason Johnson, Joseph Belcher and Joshua Zugish were collectively hired Oct. 1, and Linda Schutjer was hired this month.

Moellenberg said the counsel is typically staffed by six members, including a deputy general counsel, a position currently held by Amy Parsons.

The attorneys manage and assist the university on a variety of legal issues including day-to-day legal counsel, interpretation of regulatory laws, employment, litigation, risk management, research compliance, contracts and intellectual property, Moellenberg said.

The university began seeking potential replacements after each member was released, she said, but due to an extensive hiring process, some positions took months to fill.

Senior Reporter Jim Sojourner can be reached at

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