Government lawyer to join Open Records Counsel as new deputy

Lee Pope, an attorney with six years experience working in Tennessee state government, has been hired as Deputy Open Records Counsel, a newly created position in the Office of Open Records Counsel.

Lee Pope, the new deputy open records counsel

Lee Pope, the new deputy open records counsel

Pope’s duties will include answering questions and resolving disputes regarding access to public records, said Jason Mumpower, chief of staff in the Comptroller’s Office which houses the Open Records Counsel.

Last year, an audit found the office fell far behind on answering inquiries, creating large backlogs. It requested and received funding from the Legislature to hire another attorney to assist Open Records Counsel Ann Butterworth in answering inquiries.

Pope has worked for nearly two years as general counsel for the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which works with Tennessee’s 911 systems. Its board and committees are primarily made up of county-level 911 directors, sheriffs and other local government officials involved in 911 systems.

From 2011 to 2014, Pope was an assistant in the state Attorney General’s office. Prior to that, Pope worked for the Clarksville law firm Harvey and Silvus. He received his law degree from Cleveland State University Marshall School of Law and his undergraduate degree from University of Tennessee.

“…I feel confident that Lee’s experience will make him a good fit for supporting the Office in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities,” Mumpower said in the announcement. “We look forward to the contributions he will make in furthering our office’s efforts to promote awareness and understanding of the state’s public records and open meetings laws.”

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