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  • Press Release

FEC Announces Departure of Acting General Counsel Daniel A. Petalas

August 22, 2016

WASHINGTON — Acting General Counsel Daniel A. Petalas will leave the Federal Election Commission next month to become an owner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer, where he will practice in the White Collar, Political Law, and Litigation practice areas.

Petalas has served as Acting General Counsel to the Commission for a year. Between February 2012 and August 2015, he was head of the Enforcement Division of the Office of the General Counsel. Petalas was a Trial Attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for nearly 10 years, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and, from 1999 to 2003, a commercial litigation Associate with Vinson & Elkins LLP.

“On behalf of our fellow Commissioners and agency staff, we thank Dan for his exceptional service. In his years with the Commission, we have valued his counsel and his commitment to providing the highest quality work product. We wish him the best as he transitions to private practice,” said Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Vice Chairman Steven T. Walther. The Commission will work to fill the vacancy. 

Petalas received a B.A. from California State University—Fullerton, an M.A. in English Literature from Texas A&M University, and his J.D. with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was the Managing Editor of the Texas Law Review. After law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“It has been deeply rewarding to serve the Commission both as its Acting General Counsel and head of the Enforcement Division of the Office of the General Counsel during this significant period in the administration of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws,” said Petalas. “I look forward to my return to private practice and am confident that the talented and dedicated staff of the Office of the General Counsel will continue to provide exemplary legal counsel to the Commission concerning the important mission of the agency.”

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.