York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said he expects Jennifer Russell, his newly appointed second-in-command, to be brutally honest with him -- especially when he's wrong.

"She'll tell the emperor when he has no clothes," Kearney predicted.

Wednesday was Russell's first day as York County's first assistant district attorney. She previously had been one of Kearney's three chief deputy prosecutors.

She replaces David MacVeigh, who spent three years as Kearney's first assistant before retiring. His last day was Monday.

"He was the one who came to me and said, 'You're full of beans' when I needed to hear that," Kearney said. "I will sorely miss David. He was known as 'Uncle Dave' in our office."

Prior to transferring to the district attorney's office three years ago, MacVeigh, 58, spent a quarter-century with the York County Public Defenders Office. For many of those years he was first assistant public defender.

Dave MacVeigh: He said he'll miss his job, but that retiring made financial sense for him.

"I'll miss the people, mostly," he said.

MacVeigh said he and wife Carol Stowell -- who is already retired -- plan to travel, and he intends to continue teach at the York County Literacy Council, where he's volunteered for five or six years.

MacVeigh said he also intends to spend more time on his hobbies, including flying gliders, kayaking, sculling, water skiing, wake surfing, sailing boats in the water an on the ice, and riding kite buggies.


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"My college roommate accused me of having a wind and water fetish," he said, agreeing it sounds like a full schedule.

"One of the advantages of having ADD is having no problem staying busy enough," MacVeigh said.

Jen Russell: Russell is a very hard worker, according to Kearney.

"She's an outstanding litigator, she's an outstanding human being and she's an outstanding administrator," he said.

Russell, 32, was hired as a deputy prosecutor in 2005.

Since then, she's headed up the Crimes Against Children unit, also known as the Special Crimes unit.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in my role as an executive in the office," she said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.