University Counsel Tim Heaphy was removed from his role by Attorney General Jason Miyares, per a statement issued by the University Saturday, ending a three-year tenure. Most recently, Heaphy had been on a leave of absence from the University working as the chief investigative counsel for the Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“University leaders are grateful to Tim for his outstanding service to our community and disappointed to see it come to an end,” University spokesperson Brian Coy said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily.
While disappointed, Heaphy said he remains honored and privileged to have served the University and is confident that the office he leaves behind will continue his commitment to public service.
“As a two-time graduate of the University, the parent of a current student and a longtime resident of Charlottesville, I love the University and have been privileged to contribute to its aspiration to be both great and good,” Heaphy wrote. “While I’m disappointed that my time as University Counsel has come to an end, I’m confident that the office will continue to provide quality service as the University continues to thrive in the days to come.”
Attorneys in the Office of University Counsel serve the attorney general. Miyares’ recent inauguration began an onslaught of over 30 firings within just over a week — these firings included the entire conviction integrity unit, a group of individuals that oversees the investigation of wrongful convictions.
An alumnus of both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law, Heaphy was hired following his leadership on a critical review of local law enforcement responses to the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
Heaphy joined the University in August 2018, leaving behind a position at Hunton Andrews Kurth as the chair of white collar defense and internal investigations practice. As counsel and senior assistant attorney general at the University, Heaphy was tasked with directing representation of the University in all legal affairs and providing legal advice to University administration, faculty and staff.
Before joining Hunton Andrews Kurth, Heaphy was appointed in 2009 by former president Barack Obama to serve as a U.S. attorney representing the Western District of Virginia, a role he held until 2014.
Prior to joining the University, Heaphy led an independent review commissioned by the City Council into the response of University Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to the white supremacist march through Grounds Aug. 11. The report called UPD’s response to the event ‘woefully inadequate’ and highlighted that University officials failed to enforce separation between the white supremacists and counter-protestors, create a comprehensive plan to handle the protestors or coordinate with Charlottesville or Virginia State Police — or local community members.