Gov. Cooper appoints new general counsel

Gov. Roy Cooper thanks frontline medical workers waiting in line for their vaccinations while touring the COVID-19 vaccination area at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham on Monday, December 21, 2020. Shawn Rocco/Duke Health [email protected] office: 919-668-0994 cell: 919-812-8291

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper announced that Eric Fletcher will serve as General Counsel and advise on legal affairs for the Office of the Governor. Fletcher replaces William McKinney, who served in the role until departing for South Carolina in a return to private practice.

“Eric’s background and extensive knowledge of North Carolina’s legal landscape make him the right person to help my Administration continue building a state that works for everyone,” Gov. Cooper said in an emailed statement.

Fletcher most recently was a partner at the Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard law firm in Raleigh where his practice focused on the intersection of law and public policy. He previously clerked for Judge Michael Boudin on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and served as an associate at the WilmerHale law firm. Fletcher also previously worked in the Office of the North Carolina State Treasurer as a policy advisor.

Fletcher received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from Harvard University.

McKinney was general counsel in the governor’s office since Cooper Jan. 2017 and in his two years during Cooper’s last term as attorney general.

As general counsel, McKinney led attorneys who offered legal strategies as Cooper issued executive orders and states of emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic and when Cooper challenged in court legislative actions that lessened his gubernatorial powers. He also helped negotiate tribal gambling compacts was involved in the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline mitigation fund.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.