Press Release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, March 16, 2010:
(Nashville) – The state Senate has unanimously confirmed Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey’s (R-Blountville) appointments to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Nominating Commission. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William Koch and Circuit Court Judge John D. Wootten, Jr. were nominated by Lt. Governor Ramsey earlier this year. The commission is tasked with recommending to the Governor the top applicants to lead the TBI.
“The TBI must be on the cutting edge of solving crimes and aiding the effort to punish and lock away criminals in our midst,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “I am confident that Justice Koch and Judge Wootten will maintain the high standards and integrity of the Bureau in their work on the commission.”
Lt. Governor Ramsey has worked extensively with the TBI over the last several years to revolutionize Tennessee’s DNA database. He sponsored the “Johnia Berry Act of 2007″, which required DNA samples to be taken from persons booked for violent felonies. In 2006, he sponsored DNA legislation which added more technicians to help decrease the backlog of DNA samples in Tennessee.
Justice Koch served as Governor Lamar Alexander’s Commissioner of Personnel from 1979 to 1981 and Counsel to Governor Alexander from 1981 to 1984. Justice Koch has been an Instructor in Constitutional Law for the Nashville School of Law since 1997 and taught at the Vanderbilt University School of Law from 1988 to 1995. He was appointed by Governor Lamar Alexander to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 1984 where he served until June of 2007 when he was elevated to the state Supreme Court.
Judge Wootten is Circuit Judge for the 15th Judicial District, which covers Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties in Middle Tennessee. He was first elected in 1998 and has also been designated by the Supreme Court to hear a variety of both criminal and civil case outside the 15th District. Prior to being elected, he served the 15th District as Assistant District Attorney General for fourteen years, prosecuting thousands of cases and handling more criminal homicide cases than any attorney in the Upper Cumberland.