Press Release from Bill Haslam, Governor-elect of the State of Tennessee, Dec. 8, 2010:
Governor-Elect Intends to Name Deputy D.A. as Replacement for Gibbons
MEMPHIS – Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam named Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security during a news conference in Memphis.
Haslam also announced his intention to nominate Shelby County Deputy District Attorney Amy Weirich to Gibbons’ former post when Haslam officially becomes governor Jan. 15, Inauguration Day.
As commissioner, Gibbons will oversee the multi-faceted agency, which is responsible for law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and disaster preparedness and prevention.
In addition, Gibbons will chair a cabinet working group of all state executive branch public safety departments and agencies in order to develop a single, consistent state agenda to combat crime.
“I’m extremely pleased that General Gibbons agreed to work with us because during the campaign he elevated the conversation around crime and public safety,” Haslam said. “Cooperation between the state and local law enforcement who understand the unique local solutions that are needed is critical, and I believe General Gibbons is the right man to foster that relationship.
“He has developed new programs to tackle targeted issues and achieved real results, and I believe he’ll serve all of Tennessee well,” Haslam added.
Gibbons has served as Shelby County District Attorney General since November 1996. Gibbons chairs Operation: Safe Community, a strategic plan initiative for Memphis and Shelby County created by law enforcement, the business community, and other community leaders. Governor-elect Haslam has asked Gibbons to continue chairing Operation: Safe Community in his new capacity.
Previously Gibbons was a partner in the law firm Evans & Petree and served in part-time elective positions on the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission. He also served on the staff of former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander.
“I am honored that Governor-elect Haslam has asked me to take on this responsibility. I see it as a unique opportunity to help shape for the governor a public safety agenda that will make our state a safer place,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons, 60, serves currently as a vice-president and board of directors member for the National District Attorneys Association and on the board of trustees of American Prosecutors Research Institute. He has co-chaired the Metropolitan Committee of the National District Attorneys Association. Gibbons has served on the U. S. Department of Justice’s Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
He is married to United States Court of Appeals Judge Julia S. Gibbons. They have two children and are active members of Idlewild Presbyterian Church.
Shelby County Deputy District Attorney Weirich was the first woman appointed to the position when she was appointed in August 2010. A veteran prosecutor, she began in the D.A.’s office in 1991, and during her time as an assistant district attorney, she served as a division leader for the Special Prosecution Unity and recently as the chief prosecutor of the D.A.’s Gang and Narcotics Prosecution Unit.
“I’m honored that Governor-elect Haslam intends to name me as Gen. Gibbons’ replacement, and I’ll work hard to continue the momentum in Shelby County General Gibbons has helped create,” Weirich said.
Weirich is a Germantown High School graduate and has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Martin. She earned her law degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis.
She and her husband have four children, and she is an active member of the St. Louis Catholic Church.