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Former Arlington prosecutor named Va. Deputy Attorney General

Theo Stamos (staff photo)

Former Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos is taking a top job in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.

Stamos lost her reelection bid in 2019, defeated in the Democratic primary by now-Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti. Once Arlington’s top prosecutor, today Stamos was named the state’s Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

After her election defeat Stamos went on to work as a Law Enforcement Liaison in the U.S. Dept. of Justice during the Trump and Biden administrations, before starting to work with Jason Miyares, Virginia’s newly-elected Republican Attorney General, in January 2022. As Special Counsel to the Attorney General for Special Investigations, Stamos recently wrapped up the successful prosecution of former Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler.

Miyares has been a critic of the progressive justice reform movement, which helped to sweep Dehghani-Tafti into office and Stamos out of a job.

Also announced today: the current Deputy Attorney General of Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Nicole Wittmann, is becoming the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in Loudoun County, where Republican Bob Anderson defeated progressive prosecutor Buta Biberaj in the November election.

More, below, from a press release.

Attorney General Jason Miyares is pleased to announce that Deputy Attorney General of Criminal Justice and Public Safety Nicole Wittmann is joining the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office as Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney. Theo Stamos will become Attorney General Miyares’ Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Theo Stamos currently serves as the Special Counsel to the Attorney General in charge of Special Investigations, Cold and Actual Innocence Cases.

“Nicole has been an invaluable team member and has served the Commonwealth diligently. Virginians are better off because of her commitment to the rule of law and public safety. I look forward to seeing the positive change she’ll bring to Loudoun County as the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, returning the office’s focus to prioritizing public safety and protecting victims, which has long been missing,” said Attorney General Jason Miyares.

Nicole Wittmann has spent the majority of her career serving the people of Loudoun County as the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and Director of the Victim Witness Program. She specialized in the prosecution of sex crimes, crimes against children, human trafficking, internet solicitation of children, child pornography, child abuse, domestic abuse, homicide, and violent crimes. Wittmann received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.

“As the attorney responsible for our office’s special investigations, cold cases, and actual innocence petitions, Theo Stamos has tirelessly pursued the truth that Virginians deserve. Her unwavering dedication to public service makes her a core pillar of my administration. I am thrilled to have her serve as Virginia’s next Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice and Public Safety,” the Attorney General continued.

Theo Stamos began her career as a prosecutor in 1987 in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, capping off her career there as the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney from 2012 to 2019. She worked in the U.S. Department of Justice where she served as a state and local law enforcement liaison in the Office of Legislative Affairs. Most recently, Theo spearheaded the investigation into the Virginia Parole Board and the Loudoun County School Board, which resulted in the termination of the previous superintendent and a successful conviction for retaliatory firing.

Both Wittmann and Stamos joined the Office of Attorney General at the beginning of the Miyares’ administration in January 2022.

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