New TN Open Records Counsel (and assistant) appointed

News release from state comptroller’s office

Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson announced today that Lee Pope will serve as the new Open Records Counsel in the Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC).

As the new Open Records Counsel, Pope will lead the OORC which serves as a resource for citizens, media and governmental entities who have questions about Tennessee’s public records and open meetings laws. The OORC also helps Tennessee citizens and governmental entities understand these laws through educational outreach and promulgating policies, best practices and guidelines. The OORC’s assistance and education efforts are crucial to ensuring transparency in government.

Pope joined the OORC in 2016 as Deputy Open Records Counsel. He played a key role in eliminating a backlog of requests for assistance and in developing a model public records policy for use by government entities which are required to adopt formal public records policies by July 1, 2017. Prior to joining the Comptroller’s Office, Pope worked as Assistant Director and General Counsel for the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Comptroller Wilson also announced that Rachel Buckley is serving the OORC as Assistant Open Records Counsel. She joined the Comptroller’s Office after her previous work as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant General Counsel in the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Buckley is a graduate of Saint Louis University and the University of Tennessee’s College of Law.

Ann Butterworth, who served as the first Open Records Counsel and since 2014 has been serving as the Open Records Counsel, will return to her primary role as Assistant to the Comptroller for Public Finance.

“For the past 10 years the Office of Open Records Counsel has provided invaluable insight and guidance for thousands of Tennesseans,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “I am pleased to announce that Lee and Rachel will now continue this important work. I also want to thank Ann Butterworth for providing excellent leadership over these last few years, and I’m pleased to have her back by my side.”

For more information about the OORC visit http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/openrecords/

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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