Solicitor General Jerry Lidz
, who was Attorney General John Kroger's
top appellate lawyer, resigned last week. Lidz's resignation comes on the heels of departures by two other
top Kroger lieutenants, environmental lawyer Brent Foster and elections law specialist Margaret Olney.
Lidz, whose job is the state equivalent of what Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan does at the federal level, is collateral damage in fall-out from former University of Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti's contract.
As The Oregonian
reported, Bellotti never had a written contract with the university, an oversight that led to a multi-million settlement for Bellotti when Bellotti left for ESPN. More importantly to Lidz, that sequence led to the demotion
of Lidz's wife, former U of O general counsel Melinda Grier. In April, U of O president Richard Lariviere
decided not to renew Grier's contract and exiled her to the U of O law school.
Here's the email [PDF] Lidz sent to his colleagues last week:
Lidz's stay in Kroger's shop was brief. Here's the announcement from his prior employer, the Harrang Long law firm from March 15, 2009 when Lidz left the firm.
As of March 15, our friend and colleague Jerry Lidz has left Harrang Long Gary Rudnick to assume the position of Oregon Solicitor General to which he was appointed by Attorney General John Kroger. In selecting Jerry, Attorney General Kroger chose an attorney with a sterling reputation and recognition among his peers as an outstanding and accomplished appellate lawyer. His career has been in the best tradition of HLGR's strong appellate practitioners, and we are very proud of Jerry and the service he has provided our clients.
Kroger's spokeman, Tony Green, says Lidz will be missed.
"We deeply appreciate Jerry Lidz' service to Oregon," Green says.