Scott Schools

Scott Schools File/Provided)

A Charleston native and government prosecutor who resigned from a top post at the Justice Department last week is taking a high-profile job in the private sector.

Scott Schools, a former associate deputy attorney general, is joining the ride-hailing service Uber Technologies, which has been dogged by a series of legal and ethical scandals. 

"Thrilled to welcome my former DOJ colleague Scott Schools to ⁦@Uber⁩ as our new Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer," Tony West, the company's chief legal officer, announced in a Twitter post. "Scott exemplifies integrity and accountability, values at the core of our work to build a world-class, in-house legal team."

While at the Justice Department, Schools was a close adviser to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. He stepped down from that role Thursday.

According The Wall Street Journal, the 56-year-old veteran prosecutor started talking with the San Francisco-based company about the newly created ethics and compliance position about five months ago.

"The opportunity at Uber was so exciting to me and was something new and incredibly challenging," Schools told the publication.

Uber CEO (copy) (copy)

Dara Khosrowshahi has been putting out fires as the new CEO of ride-hailing giant Uber. AP/File

Under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has acknowledged its past mishaps and has made a number of management changes and other moves to repair its image and rebuild trust. 

The headline-making scandals have included sexual assault and harassment charges, the deliberate use of software designed to evade authorities, and the death of a women who was struck by one of the company's self-driving vehicles.

In an interview with Corporate Counsel's this week, Schools said he won't be dealing with the past legal troubles or ongoing federal investigations at privately held Uber. His new job "is about doing the right thing going forward,” he said. 

Schools is a grandson of the founder of grocery store operator Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. He attended Porter-Gaud School, majored in mathematics at Duke University and clerked for a federal judge in Charleston after graduating from law school at the University of Texas.

He joined the Justice Department in 1989 as an assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, where he helped investigate and prosecute the "Operation Lost Trust" Statehouse corruption scandal. His boss at the time was Bart Daniels, now a partner in the Charleston office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. 

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"Scott has a razor-sharp mind with a laser-like focus," said Daniels, who was U.S. Attorney from 1980-1992.

He also noted that his former underling has held numerous jobs with increasing levels of responsibilities. 

"He's an outstanding lawyer, and his judgment is as good as anybody I know," Daniels said Tuesday. "That's probably what attracted Uber to Scott."

Schools did not respond to a request for comment though the company.

He has spent most of his legal career in various federal prosecutor roles, including a prestigious stint as the U.S. Attorney for the San Francisco area, where he will be moving.

Schools has worked in private practice twice, including three years at the Charleston office of Moore & Van Allen starting in 2013. He rejoined the Justice Department in October 2016.

Last year, Schools was described by a colleague in a report as "the most important unknown person in D.C."

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott