Montana Attorney General's Office announces departures of two senior officials

Attorney General Austin Knudsen
Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 20:05:40-04

HELENA — The Montana Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday the departure of two senior officials.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Derek Oestreicher and Solicitor General David Dewhirst both resigned their posts for new opportunities, said Kyler Nerison, spokesman for Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

“David and Derek have been trusted leaders on my team,” Knudsen said, in an emailed statement from Nerison. Knudsen called the two men integral to the success of the Attorney General’s Office.

Oestreicher will stay on until later this month and is leaving to join the Montana Family Foundation as director of government affairs and chief legal counsel, according to an email from Nerison providing more details about the departures. Oestreicher was appointed to his position after former Chief Deputy Attorney General Kris Hansen resigned from the position in May. Hansen passed away in July.

The office did not say who Knudsen planned to appoint to the number two position after Oestreicher's departure.

Dewhirst’s last day will be Friday and he and his employer will announce Dewhirst’s next role when they are ready, Nerison said in an interview with MTN News Wednesday. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen appointed Dewhirst to the top civil litigation position when Knudsen took office in January 2021.

Dewhirst was the lead attorney for the AG’s office when it came to defending legislation passed by the 2021 State Legislature. About a dozen lawsuits challenging 16 different came out of the session, leading to the AG’s office to contract with private attorneys to help with the workload.

Christian Corrigan will be the new solicitor general, Nerison said. Corrigan joined the office in February 2021 and previously was senior counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.