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TN Supreme Court selects Gov. Lee's chief legal counsel as next state attorney general

Skrmetti will start on September 1 and serve for eight years, replacing current Attorney General Herbert Slatery as his term comes to an end.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will have a new state attorney general starting in September.

The Tennessee Supreme Court selected Jonathan Skrmetti from Franklin to serve as the next attorney general. Skrmetti has served as Governor Bill Lee's chief legal counsel since Dec. 2021.

He will replace Attorney General Herbert Slatery starting September 1, who is finishing out his eight-year term.

“The Court has made an excellent choice in Jonathan Skrmetti,” Slatery said. “The Justices recognized Jonathan’s dedication to public service, his hands-on leadership experience in this Office, and his outstanding legal pedigree. Significant matters like antitrust and opioids are complex and take many years to resolve. It will be gratifying to pass the baton to Jonathan, who as Chief Deputy saw the initiation of some of these cases, steer them toward resolution as Attorney General and Reporter."

Skrmetti's term will end on August 31, 2030.

“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. “He is an accomplished attorney with a deep understanding of Tennessee government and our judicial system.”

Between 2018 and 2021, Skremetti served as the state's chief deputy attorney general, where he managed roughly 160 attorneys in 15 divisions. He also helped negotiate a $26 billion multistate opioid lawsuit settlement.

Before working for the state, Skrmetti was a partner at Butler Snow LLP in Memphis. He also prosecuted federal crimes with an emphasis on human trafficking, hate crimes and official misconduct in West Tennessee as an assistant U.S. attorney. 

"It will be a privilege to continue serving the people of Tennessee as their Attorney General and Reporter," Skrmetti said. "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."

The Supreme Court interviewed six candidates for the position on August 8 and 9.

“Jonathan is a dedicated public servant and highly qualified legal professional,” said Gov. Lee. “He will bring significant experience and tremendous value to our work on behalf of Tennesseans, and I am confident he will continue to serve our state with integrity.”

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