JEFFERSON CITY — A St. Louis County judge is stepping down to become a top aide to newly appointed Attorney General Andrew Bailey.
William Corrigan, who was appointed to a circuit judge post two years ago by Gov. Mike Parson, will serve as deputy attorney general in the office, which is undergoing a retooling amid the departure of current Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
“Judge Corrigan brings decades of legal experience and management acumen to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office,” Bailey said. “He is unquestionably a dedicated public servant, an experienced jurist, and is an enormous addition to our team.”
Corrigan, 63, was the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive in 2010, losing to Democrat Charlie Dooley.
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Before becoming a judge, Corrigan was one of the youngest presidents in the history of The Missouri Bar. He was a partner in the law firm of Armstrong Teasdale LLP, where he practiced for 30 years, representing individuals and businesses in personal injury cases, shareholder disputes and trade secrets matters.
In 2017, Corrigan was among those vying to become U.S. attorney in Missouri’s eastern district.
His name also surfaced as a potential replacement for then-Attorney General Josh Hawley after Hawley won his 2018 race for the U.S. Senate.
That appointment went to Schmitt, who won the November election to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.
“I am honored to join the team at the Attorney General’s Office. I look forward to working with Attorney General-designee Bailey to improve operations, recruit and retain exceptional staff, and fight for the people of Missouri,” said Corrigan, who will focus on staffing and operational issues in his new role.
Bailey, 41, was chosen by Gov. Mike Parson to replace Schmitt. A political newcomer, Bailey is serving as the governor’s chief legal counsel until he is sworn into office on Tuesday.
Since the appointment, Bailey has been assembling a team to help him finish out the final two years of Schmitt’s term while also mounting a campaign for a full, four-year term in the 2024 election.
Bailey earlier named Jay Atkins to serve as his chief of staff and Josh Divine to serve as solicitor general. Divine clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Clarence Thomas and served in the Attorney General’s office from 2017 to 2019 as Deputy Solicitor General during Hawley’s abbreviated tenure.
In addition, Bailey has hired Ray Wagner as a senior adviser.
Wagner, the husband of U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, recently retired from Clayton-based Enterprise Holdings as a senior vice president. He also has served as director of the Missouri Department of Revenue and as a top aide to former Gov. John Ashcroft.
Corrigan, who earned his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame, will begin serving as deputy attorney general on Jan. 30.