Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday announced he’s getting a new executive counsel, but the current job holder isn’t going far.
Jindal’s executive counsel Liz Murrill is changing jobs to become the chief lawyer for the governor’s Division of Administration.
Gary Graphia, a former executive with The Shaw Group Inc., takes Murrill’s place as Jindal’s top lawyer. Graphia will begin the new job on Oct. 16.
Jindal announced the personnel moves in a news release issued Monday night.
Graphia will make $165,000 annually, the same as Murrill makes in the position, according to Jindal press secretary Shannon Bates.
In her new job, Murrill will be filling an assistant commissioner of administration position that is vacant, Division spokesman Michael DiResto wrote in an email response. Her salary will also be $165,000 annually, he said.
“She’ll fill that vacant position to maintain her current salary but will serve as executive counsel,” he said.
The news release did not provide any information about the reason for the job moves.
When asked why the changes were being made, Jindal’s communications director Kyle Plotkin said: “We appreciate Liz’s service and are sure she will do well in her new role.”
The changes in legal staff comes in the wake of an earlier Jindal decision that Commissioner of Division of Administration Paul Rainwater would become his chief of staff with Stephen Waguespack’s departure. At the time, Jindal said Rainwater’s replacement heading the Division of Administration would be Kristy Nichols, who is Jindal’s deputy chief of staff.
Over the weekend, Murrill’s name surfaced in a letter that indicated she reviewed records before LSU released them publicly and recommended legal strategies to avoid publicly disclosing more documents related to LSU hospital budget cuts and health care privatization.
Graphia retired from The Shaw Group in May. As its executive vice president, he oversaw corporate development, mergers and acquisitions and client relations. He had a series of other jobs with the Fortune 500 company beginning in August 1999 as chief legal officer and corporate secretary.
Jindal has another former Shaw executive in his Cabinet: Tim Barfield, who is executive counsel of the state Department of Revenue.
Before joining Shaw, Graphia was a partner at the law firm of Kean, Miller, Hawthorne, D’Armond, McCowan & Jarman. Graphia went to LSU for undergraduate and law school.