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AG Nessel Announces New Division Chief, Legislative Director
October 09, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced the appointments of Robyn Liddell to Criminal Trials and Appeals Division Chief and Ashley Steffen to Director of Legislative Affairs.
“I’m happy to have these two accomplished leaders filling critical roles in the Department of Attorney General,” Nessel said. “They each bring a wealth of experience and knowledge needed to serve the people of this great state. Robyn is a career prosecutor with a track record of dedicated commitment to crime victims, and Ashley has proven herself a tireless public servant, working for many years in state government. I know they will prove to be invaluable as they take on these new roles.”
Liddell began her service in the Department of Attorney General in 2014 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division. Her work in that position allowed her to take a lead role in a variety of cases prosecuted by the Department, including criminal actions involving gaming and tobacco tax violations, Department of Treasury violations, sexual assault, and child abuse. In 2020, she was promoted to First Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Trials and Appeals Division, where she manages the day-to-day operations of the Trials Section, supervising over 25 direct reports, including two Section Heads. She is also a member of the National Black Prosecutors Association.
“It is an honor to serve the People of the State of Michigan. I will continue my commitment to transparency, equal dispensation of justice, and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community. I thank Attorney General Nessel for this opportunity,” said Liddell.
Liddell earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies from Oberlin College before graduating from Michigan State University Law School. At MSU, her studies focused on Child and Family Law. Liddell’s background in Child and Family Law has served her well in her positions as Lead Prosecutor in the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office handling domestic violence cases and in Washtenaw County’s Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit. She also provided support and crisis intervention at Ann Arbor’s Domestic Violence Project.
As head of the Criminal Trials and Appeals Division, Liddell will be responsible for handling the investigation and prosecution of a broad array of criminal matters, including criminal appeals filed by convicted felons and multi-jurisdictional or complex cases involving sexual assaults and intimate partner violence, police misconduct, and public integrity, as well as all appellate matters handled by the Department.
An Inkster native, Liddell resides in Westland with her husband and son.
Steffen has served the State as the Legislative Liaison with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development since April 2021.
Prior to that, Steffen worked for the Michigan House Democratic Policy Office covering the Agriculture and Commerce and Tourism Committee, as well as the Appropriation Subcommittees on Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Affairs.
Prior to her work as a policy advisor, Steffen served as a Government Affairs and Communication Associate with Disability Rights Michigan and as a writer for the Michigan House Democrats. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Public Policy, both from Michigan State University. A proud Yooper, Ashley now lives in Lansing with her rescue dog, Griswold. She volunteers as a foster for the Capital Area Humane Society.
As the Department’s new Legislative Director, Ashley will be responsible for liaising with the state House and Senate, as well as Michigan members of the U.S. Congress, on the Department’s legislative priorities, and offering department review on proposed legislation, as requested.
The Department of Attorney General employs over 550 staff through 28 divisions. To see current job openings, visit: State of Michigan Jobs.