Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Jason Mumpower has named Rachel Buckley the office’s new general counsel.
The appointment is effective immediately, according to a release.
Buckley has worked for the state since 2013, first as a lawyer for the Department of Children’s Services and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. She joined the comptroller’s office in 2017, working on open records cases, and was later named assistant general counsel.
“Rachel is an excellent attorney and has a wide variety of legal expertise on matters that impact state and local governments,” Mumpower said. “I value her judgment and I am confident that she will help our Office fulfill its mission to make government work better.”
Buckley succeeds Stephanie Maxwell, who left the comptroller’s office in July for a job in the private sector.
The appointment of a chief legal adviser comes at a significant moment for the office, tasked with overseeing requests from businesses, governmental entities and schools seeking exemptions to newly passed laws banning COVID-19 precautions like mask and vaccine mandates.
Exemptions were written into the law if applicants can show that abiding by the state law would result in the loss of federal funding, and the comptroller is responsible for assessing the exemption applications.
The office set up a new website this week where businesses and other groups can apply for exemptions.
According to a spokesperson, Buckley drafted the exemption guidelines and will continue to provide legal advice as determinations are made.