Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Gov. Bill Lee’s chief counsel to serve as the state’s Attorney General.
The high court chose Jonathan Skrmetti to take the helm of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Skrmetti will replace current state Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, who has completed an eight-year term in office.
Skrmetti served as chief deputy in Slatery’s office from 2018 to December 2021, when he took the role of chief counsel for Gov. Lee.
“Mr. Skrmetti has dedicated the majority of his career to public service and has the breadth of experience and vision necessary to lead the Attorney General’s office for the next eight years,” Chief Justice Roger A. Page said in a news release. “He is an accomplished attorney with a deep understanding of Tennessee government and our judicial system.”
According to the release, Skrmetti served as a negotiator for the Attorney General’s office in a $26 billion multistate settlement of claims against Purdue Pharma for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic in Tennessee and across the nation.
Skrmetti also served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee from 2011 to 2014.
The state Supreme Court is responsible for appointing the Attorney General and spent two days this week interviewing six candidates for the post before announcing its selection of Skrmetti on Wednesday.
“It will be a privilege to continue serving the people of Tennessee as their Attorney General and Reporter,” Skrmetti is quoted in the high court’s news release. “I look forward to working with the dedicated public servants at the Attorney General’s office to represent all three branches of Tennessee’s government. I thank the Supreme Court for entrusting me with this responsibility and General Herbert Slatery for his eight years of distinguished leadership.”
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