After the controversial removal of William “Chink” Brown from the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission in February, Gov. Bill Haslam has finally appointed a replacement, reports Nooga.com David Watson, an executive and part owner of Mountain View Ford Lincoln in Chattanooga, will serve out the remainder of Brown’s term as the District 4 representative on the TFWC. The TFWC is the governing body over the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The 13 members have authority over hunting, fishing and boating regulations in Tennessee.
In the letter notifying Watson of his appointment, the governor wrote, “In the thorough and aggressive search for candidates, your individual characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional among the number of nominees who expressed interest.”
Watson’s appointment will last until February 2015; however, insiders think it is possible that Watson will be reappointed for another six-year term at that point, although that is not guaranteed.
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Mike Faulk as circuit court judge for the Third Judicial District, replacing Judge Kindall T. Lawson, who retired effective June 1.
“Mike will bring vast experience to the bench,” Haslam said. “He has served his state well in the past, and I know he will serve the citizens of the Third Judicial District well in this new role.”
Faulk, 59, has worked in The Faulk Law Office in Church Hill since 1982. He served as a Tennessee state senator representing Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson and Union counties in the 106th and 107th Tennessee General Assemblies. While serving as a state senator, he was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, among other duties.
“I am deeply humbled by the Governor’s confidence in me, grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of East Tennessee and privileged to work with the other judges and court personnel of Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins and Hancock counties,” Faulk said.
A Chattanooga businesswoman has been named by House Speaker Beth Harwell to fill a vacant director position on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Robin Bennett currently serves as a vice president and financial center manager for First Tennessee and, according to Harwell, brings to the agency experience in customer relations, business management and federal and regulatory compliance.
Bennett replaces Sara Kyle, who resigned from the TRA in March. The agency regulates investor-owned water and electric utilities, as well as some telephone services.
The mission of the TRA is to promote the public interest by balancing the interests of consumers and monopoly utilities.
News release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’:
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today announced the appointment of Charles Tuggle of Memphis to the Judicial Nominating Commission. Tuggle will fill the vacancy left by the death of commission member Elizabeth Collins.
“Identifying individuals capable of rendering prudent decisions in agreement with our laws as written is important work,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Charles Tuggle is an accomplished attorney and executive as well as a veteran of our armed forces. I trust that he will work well with the current members of the commission to ensure Tennessee has the best possible judiciary.”
“I appreciate Lt. Governor Ramsey giving me the opportunity to serve,” said Tuggle. “I look forward to serving my state in this capacity.”
Mr. Tuggle is currently executive vice president and general counsel for First Horizon National Corp. Tuggle practiced law for 30 years with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz before joining the FTN Financial division of First Tennessee Bank as chief risk officer in 2003.
Tuggle earned a bachelor of arts degree from Rhodes College and his Juris Doctorate from Emory University. Tuggle is a graduate of the Georgia State University ROTC program and served as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
The Judicial Nominating Commission was created in 2009 when Lt. Governor Ramsey reformed the process for selecting Tennessee’s appellate judges to provide more transparency and accountability in the judiciary. The commission has 17 members and is responsible for making judicial nominations to state appellate courts and the state Supreme Court when vacancies arise.
— Note: The commission will cease to exist on June 30, but plans to select nominees for three appellate court positions before then. Previous post HERE.
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Thomas R. “Skip” Frierson, II as a judge for the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern Section.
Frierson replaces the Hon. Judge Herschel P. Franks, who retired at the end of 2012.
“Skip Frierson has spent the last 23 years serving in public office in East Tennessee, and he brings a wealth of experience to the bench,” Haslam said. “We are fortunate to have someone in this role with his qualifications and expertise.”
Frierson has served as chancellor in the Third Judicial District, which is comprised of Hamblen, Greene, Hawkins and Hancock counties, since 1996. In 1990, he was elected as Hamblen County General Sessions Court judge, serving in that capacity as judge of the Domestic Relations Court, Probate Court and as municipal judge for the City of Morristown.
He is a past president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and serves as chairperson of the conference’s Tennessee Judicial Family Institute. Frierson was elected a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation in 2007 and served as president of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association from 2007-2009. He was honored as “Trial Judge of the Year” by the American Board of Trial Advocates, Tennessee Chapter in 2000.
“I am deeply honored by the trust and confidence which Gov. Haslam has placed in me in making this appointment,” Frierson said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the state on the Court of Appeals, and I will give my full effort and commitment to performing the duties of judicial office diligently and impartially while promoting trust and confidence in the Tennessee judiciary.”
Frierson, 54, attended Walters State Community College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1980, earning his J.D. from the University Of Tennessee College of Law in 1983.
He and his wife, Jane, have three children, Reagan Lea, Parker and Garrett, and they are members of the First United Methodist Church of Morristown.
— Note: Haslam chose Frierson over two other nominees sent him by the Judicial Nominating Commission: Former state Sen. Mike Faulk, R-Church Hill, and Chancellor Jerri S. Bryant of Athens.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey on Thursday replaced the chairwoman of the powerful judiciary committee with a key ally, while some opponents of a proposal to allow wine sales in grocery stores lauded committee assignments in the lower chamber.
Ramsey removed Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet as the head of the judiciary committee, replacing her with Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown. All three are Republicans.
Beavers said her efforts to ramp up accountability for judges may have had a role in her losing her leadership post.
“You’ll have to ask the speaker about that,” she told The Associated Press. “I think a lot of the judges really objected to us redoing their ethics.”
Ramsey denied that the move was in response to pressure from judges or anyone else.
“We wanted to take a different direction,” he said. “And I think Brian Kelsey is a bright young man that will do well on there.”
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee State University’s new president said troubles at her alma mater, including accusations of grade fixing, can be resolved by creating a sense of unity along with better communication.
Glenda Baskin Glover, current dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., was chosen from four finalists last week. The Tennessee Board of Regents voted unanimously during a special meeting Tuesday to approve her appointment.
Glover, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Tennessee State in mathematics in 1974, will take over as president on Jan. 2 with a salary of $279,000.
She told the board she’s “honored and excited” to return to the historically black college in Nashville.
“It’s an awesome feeling, as well as an awesome responsibility,” Glover said.
Glover replaces interim president Portia Shields, who came to the university in early 2011 to make reforms for the school to gain a necessary full accreditation.
News release from state Department of Agriculture:
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam and Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson today announced the appointment of veteran Division of Forestry employee Jere Jeter as State Forester and Assistant Commissioner.
Jeter succeeds Steven Scott, who retired earlier this year after serving 10 years in the position.
“Jere has extensive natural resources management experience in both the private and public sectors that will serve our state well as we deal with important forest resource and protection issues, and I’m pleased to join Commissioner Johnson in making this announcement,” Haslam said.
As State Forester and Assistant Commissioner, Jeter is responsible for the administration of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, which manages more than 166,000 acres of state-owned forests and has responsibility for wildfire prevention and suppression, reforestation, landowner assistance, forest health, urban forestry and forest inventory.
A native of Weakley County, Tenn., Jeter has been with the state Division of Forestry for more than 31 years. He first joined the agency in 1975 as an area forester serving McNairy and Hardeman counties. He also served as a staff forester working with wood-using industries. He has served as assistant state forester for the past 16 years, overseeing operations including equipment, property, budget and personnel management.
Jeter also has experience in the private sector managing operations of a hardwood lumber concentration and drying operation in Camden, Tenn. He has a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville after studying pre-forestry at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
“I am humbled by and appreciative of the confidence Governor Haslam and Commissioner Johnson have shown in me to lead this important forest resources agency,” said Jeter. “Tennesseans are blessed by a great abundance and variety of forest resources we have and it is an honor to lead the effort to protect and wisely manage this resource.”
He and his wife, Maureen, have two children and six grandchildren and reside in Williamson County, Tenn.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Keith Siskin to the 16th Judicial District Circuit Court, which serves Rutherford and Cannon counties.
Siskin fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Don Ash to a senior judge position earlier this year.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, Siskin has been a juvenile court magistrate since 2004 and presided over both criminal and civil proceedings including parentage, child support, child custody and visitation, dependency, neglect, abuse and delinquency matters.
Siskin graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1994 and went to the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating cum laude in 1997.
He is a past president of the Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Norma Lester, a Democratic member of the Shelby County Election Commission, was appointed Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam to fill a vacancy on the state Registry of Election Finance, which enforces campaign finance laws in Tennessee.
Lester, 70, a retired nursing administrator who was named to the election commission last year, will fill a seat on the six-member board that has been vacant since April of 2011.
“I am a stickler for compliance with the rules and regulations and the law,” Lester told the Commercial Appeal. “So I will be adamant that I will follow the laws without any discrimination.”
The appointment is effective immediately, according to gubernatorial spokesman David Smith, and continues through Dec. 31, 2016. Under state law, Lester must go through a training session with the state attorney general’s office before serving, but that is expected to occur before the Registry’s next meeting on Oct. 23.
The Registry on that date is scheduled to take up a complaint against Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett for several irregularities in his 2010 campaign finance disclosures. Also scheduled for a hearing Oct. 23 is the case of Andrew Miller, a wealthy Nashville businessman accused of using a political action committee to avoid limits on the amount of money that can be given to political candidates.
State law gives the governor two appointments to the board – one that must be chosen from a list of nominees submitted by the state Democratic Executive Committee, which Lester now fills, and the other from a list submitted by the state Republican Executive Committee.
The Democratic committee had submitted a list of three names to Haslam last week.