Administration
About the AGO > Administration

Administration

Jonathan Blanton, First Assistant Attorney General

Jonathan Blanton

First Assistant Attorney General

Jonathan Blanton is the senior appointed officer to Attorney General Dave Yost and is responsible for overseeing the legal and investigatory work of the office.

Blanton began his career in rural southern Ohio where, after a brief stint in private practice, he spent more than 10 years as the elected prosecuting attorney for Jackson County. In that role, he represented the state of Ohio in cases ranging from speeding violations to aggravated murder and child sex offenses, sometimes within the span of a single day.

In 2011, Blanton joined the Attorney General’s Office as director of the office’s then-new Economic Crimes Unit, a group dedicated to assisting local law enforcement with tracking down and prosecuting scammers, bad contractors and criminal telemarketers. He went on to serve as chief of the office’s Consumer Protection Section from 2014 through 2018 and, from 2019 through July 2022, as deputy attorney general for major litigation.

In the deputy attorney general role, Blanton directed and led some of the office’s highest-profile civil matters, including litigation against a number of opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical distributors. In 2021, he was recognized by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for his role in securing settlements that will require four companies to pay a combined $26 billion toward the nation’s fight against the opioid epidemic.

Since joining the Attorney General’s Office, Blanton has served as a subject-matter expert and trainer for NAAG on a variety of topics, including tactics for maximizing the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs, regulating medical professionals, and developing and litigating claims against pharmaceutical supply-chain participants. He has also served as a faculty member for a number of litigation-focused trainings within the Attorney General’s Office and has presented at multiple law enforcement and legal training events on the state and national levels.

Blanton, a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Kentucky College of Law, is admitted to practice in Ohio’s state courts and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Benjamin Marrison, Chief of Staff for Attorney General Dave Yost

Benjamin Marrison

Chief of Staff

Benjamin Marrison, chief of staff for Attorney General Dave Yost, is responsible for all non-legal matters, including operations, public policy and communications.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Marrison was communications director and senior adviser for Yost at the Auditor of State’s Office during Yost’s second term.

For 16 years, from 1999 to 2015, Marrison was editor of The Columbus Dispatch – the longest-serving editor in the history of the capital-city newspaper. In that role, he oversaw the newsgathering operations, managing the newspaper, its websites and related publications. He was a member of the company’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Operating Committee.

Before joining The Dispatch, he worked as the Statehouse bureau chief for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and a reporter at The (Toledo) Blade.

Marrison is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He and his wife, Ellen, have four adult children.

Shawn Busken, Director of Outside Counsel

Shawn Busken

Deputy First Assistant Attorney General and Director of Outside Counsel

Shawn Busken assists the first assistant attorney general with all legal and investigatory work of the Attorney General’s Office, monitors the execution of office decisions and oversees special projects assigned by Attorney General Yost. He also serves simultaneously as director of outside counsel.

From January 2019 through July 2022, Busken served solely as director of outside counsel, managing the engagement, retention and oversight of private-sector attorneys appointed to represent state entities (agencies, colleges, universities, retirement systems, boards and commissions) and to work on securities cases and all other contingency cases. The role involves overseeing approximately 900 matters with 150 firms for more than 60 state clients.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Busken worked as policy director for Yost at the Auditor of State’s Office, helping to lead legislative initiatives to require fiscal training for local fiscal officers; reform the charter school process; and prohibit monopolies from being written into the Ohio Constitution.

Before his work in the Auditor’s Office, he spent five years in private practice at Blaugrund, Kessler, Myers & Postalakis, where he practiced labor and employment law. He also served with the Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office.

Busken earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his law degree from The Ohio State University.

Carol O'Brien, Chief Counsel

Carol O’Brien

Deputy Attorney General for Law Enforcement

Carol O’Brien oversees seven “sections” focused on law enforcement/criminal justice: the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, Special Prosecutions, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, Health Care Fraud, Crime Victims and Criminal Justice.

Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, O’Brien spent 12 years in the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, the last eight as the prosecutor and the previous four as assistant prosecutor. During that time, she also served as a special prosecutor in numerous criminal cases in counties throughout the state.

Earlier in her career, O’Brien served as an assistant attorney general in the Attorney General’s Office and as an assistant prosecutor in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. Prior to those roles, she worked as a staff attorney for the clinical programs within the Ohio State University College of Law, for the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program and for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality.

In 2016, O’Brien was recognized as Ohio’s Outstanding Prosecuting Attorney for her dedication to justice. She has been an active member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association for nearly a decade, serving as president in 2019, and has given presentations on a wide range of prosecutorial matters and other legal topics.

O’Brien has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University and a law degree from the University of Toledo. She is licensed to practice in Ohio, South Carolina, the Northern and Southern District Courts of Ohio, the District Court of South Carolina, and the 4th and 6th circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

O’Brien and her husband, Bill, live in Delaware County.

Jonathan Fulkerson, Deputy Attorney General

Jonathan Fulkerson

Deputy Attorney General

Jonathan Fulkerson has worked in the Attorney General’s Office for 20 years. In his current role as Deputy Attorney General, he supervises the work of the office’s Health and Human Services, Education, Court of Claims, Public Utilities, Environmental, and Employment sections.

Previously, Fulkerson served in criminal and civil sections within the Attorney General’s Office. He has argued cases in administrative hearings, trial courts and appellate courts. He has argued cases in state and federal courts. He has also spent time in private practice, representing and counseling corporate clients.

Fulkerson is a graduate of American University and Capital Law School. He is a member of the Delaware County Law Library Board and volunteers as a scout leader. He is a counselor for the Law Merit Badge.
 

Cynthia Dungey, Deputy Attorney General

Cynthia C. Dungey

Deputy Attorney General

Formerly a prosecutor in the Health Care Fraud Unit of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Cynthia Dungey has rejoined the office as the deputy attorney general responsible for managing the Civil Rights, Labor, PUCO, Taxation, Transportation and Workers’ Compensation sections.

Dungey came to the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 from the Ohio Department of Youth Services, where, as deputy director of Community Engagement and Reentry, she planned for the successful return of youths to their homes and communities.

Prior to that, she served as director of the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services for five years and as the federal designee responsible for supervising the state’s public assistance, workforce development, unemployment insurance, child and adult protective services, adoption, child care, and child support programs.

She previously worked for ODJFS as the chief of staff of Medicaid, managing daily operations and, with a workforce of 500-plus, maintaining 70,000 active providers and issuing multimillion-dollar payments weekly as reimbursement for services to 1.5 million people.

Dungey began her first stint with the Attorney General’s Office in 1996 in the Crime Victims Section, then worked for five years in the Health Care Fraud Section.

In all, Dungey has more than 20 years of experience in administering federally regulated programs, developing and implementing state laws and administrative rules; working with government officials, health care providers and stakeholders to improve delivery systems; and identifying millions in inefficiencies, fraud, waste and abuse in health care, public assistance and other government programs.

Dungey has a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from DePauw University, a law degree from the Ohio Northern University College of Law, and an honorary doctorate of community leadership from Franklin University.

Charles M. Miller, Deputy Attorney General

Charles M. Miller

Deputy Attorney General for Major Litigation

Charles Miller manages the Antitrust, Charitable Law, Consumer and Constitutional Offices sections of the Attorney General’s Office, overseeing complex litigation for the state of Ohio. In addition, he personally maintains an active litigation and appeals docket of select cases, including cases involving Google and House Bill 6.

Previously, Miller served as counsel to Attorney General Yost and office counsel, advising and representing the attorney general, the General Assembly, statewide officeholders, as well as universities and other agencies. He also headed the attorney general’s Office of Professional Integrity.

Miller has successfully defended election laws, obtained the return of $40 million in tax subsidies from an automobile manufacturer, secured an agreement with a retail electric company to stop collecting more than $100 million annually in fees from ratepayers, and obtained an injunction against $1.3 billion in subsidies to a nuclear power generator. He also has represented the attorney general in federal courts to defend and vindicate the parens patriae powers of the state.

Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Miller served as an appellate judge on the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, per the appointment of then-Gov. John Kasich. He spent more than a decade in private practice in Cincinnati focusing on complex litigation, class-action defense and appeals, arguing many cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court. Early in his career, he clerked for Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Miller served on the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct, the Hamilton County Public Defender Commission, and boards of education for public and charter schools.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from The Ohio State University and his law degree from Boston University.

Bridget C. Coontz, Chief Counsel and Ethics Officer

Bridget C. Coontz

Chief Counsel and Ethics Officer

Bridget Coontz advises the Attorney General’s Office on legal matters and litigates cases on its behalf. She also advises AGO staff regarding their ethical obligations under Ohio law, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and office policies and procedures. In addition, she supervises the AGO’s Records Management Section, Litigation Support Unit and Law Library.

Before moving into her current role in 2022, Coontz worked in the AGO’s Constitutional Offices Section for nine years, first as assistant chief and then chief. She oversaw and supervised the representation of all public offices established by the Ohio Constitution, including, among others, the Governor’s, Secretary of State’s and Auditor of State’s offices.

Coontz served as lead counsel in state and federal court trials before the Ohio Supreme Court, and in hearings in which she sought and defended against requests for emergency injunctive relief. She has written and orally argued appellate briefs in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Tenth District Court of Appeals of Ohio. She supervised the AGO’s Public Records Unit, which publishes an annual Sunshine Law Manual, provides public-records training throughout the state, responds to public-records requests and litigates public-records cases.

Coontz also previously worked in the AGO’s Special Prosecutions Section and Environmental Enforcement Section, and as counsel for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, representing personnel in federal court and successfully defending against 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims based on allegations of unlawful arrest and excessive force. She advised and trained troopers on matters regarding civil liability for law enforcement, with a focus on the laws of arrest, search and seizure.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office in 2006, Coontz served from 1999 to 2006 as a Columbus assistant city attorney, representing the city in both criminal and civil matters. As the city’s environmental prosecutor, she helped write the Columbus Nuisance Abatement Code and filed and litigated nuisance actions against problematic properties and their owners.

Coontz earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University and her law degree from the Rutgers School of Law.

Michael Rodgers, Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Michael Rodgers

Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Michael Rodgers brings more than 15 years of diverse experience in state government to his role as director of policy and public affairs for Attorney General Dave Yost. In leading the Policy and Public Affairs team, he has primary responsibility for all legislative matters at both the state and federal level.

Prior to joining the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Rodgers served as the chief legal counsel at Opportunities for Ohioans With Disabilities, a deputy legal counsel at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

He also has served as a legislative liaison and policy analyst for the Ohio Judicial Conference and as a legislative aide for multiple members in the Ohio General Assembly.

Rodgers earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from The Ohio State University, and his law degree from Capital University.

Bethany McCorkle, Communications Director

Bethany McCorkle

Communications Director

In her role as communications director, Bethany McCorkle manages the day-to-day media interactions for the Attorney General’s Office.

Prior to joining the office, McCorkle was a deputy director at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where she oversaw multiple areas, including communications, general services, human resources, information technology law enforcement, and the fiscal and legal offices.

Previously for ODNR, she served as chief of communications, implementing strategic communications and marketing initiatives for one of Ohio’s largest state agencies.

McCorkle also has served as a communications and a marketing officer for the Ohio Department of Development, where she worked with national and local media to highlight department efforts and initiatives. Before that, she spent a number of years in the private sector, most recently as a director at Worldwide Express.

McCorkle has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She currently heads the Public Outreach Committee for the Worthington School PTA.

Carrie Bartunek, External Affairs Director

Carrie Bartunek

External Affairs Director

Carrie Bartunek, director of external affairs and senior policy adviser for Attorney General Dave Yost, manages the office’s external relations and outreach efforts, overseeing its regional liaisons across the state.

Bartunek previously worked for eight years for then-State Auditor Yost, first as communications director and then as senior policy adviser for external affairs. In those roles, she handled media relations and both internal and external communications.

Her experience in communications, media relations, publications and event coordination spans more than 30 years, primarily covering city and state government, law enforcement and K-12 education.

Bartunek holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

Glenn Sheller, Senior Special Projects Director

Glenn Sheller

Senior Special Projects Director

As senior special projects director, Glenn Sheller writes speeches and op-eds, conducts policy research, and reports and writes special reports on topics designated by Attorney General Dave Yost.

Sheller previously filled a similar role for Yost at the Auditor of State’s Office, in addition to serving as editor for the office’s Performance Audit Section.

Before that, he spent more than 30 years in newspaper journalism, as a reporter, copy editor, editorial writer, columnist and editor. He worked at the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun, The York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record, The York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch/Sunday News and The Columbus Dispatch. For the final 14 years of his newspaper career, he served as editorial page editor of The Dispatch.

Sheller holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.