FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) – Governor Matt Bevin has announced that State Representative John Tilley of Hopkinsville will serve as Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
That's according to a press release sent to WDRB News.
Tilley is a former prosecutor who is nationally recognized for his work on criminal justice reform and drug policy.
"I am pleased to announce that John Tilley will serve as Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet," said Governor Bevin. "He is well qualified to lead the effort to keep our citizens safe and improve our criminal justice system. He will bring a high level of passion and innovation to this role. John will be a strong advocate for our state police, prosecutors, public defenders, corrections officers and all other Justice Cabinet employees."
"I am honored to continue my public service in the Bevin Administration," said Tilley. "I have a passion for public safety and the Governor and I have discussed a vision for the Justice Cabinet that protects citizens, restores victims and reforms wrongdoers; all in a focused environment where everything we do will be measured for accountability and performance."
Rep. Tilley is serving a fifth term in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He has chaired the House Judiciary Committee since 2009, while also co-chairing many related joint bipartisan House/Senate task forces on criminal justice.
But not everyone is happy about the appointment. In a statement Thursday, Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo blasted Tilley's decision to take a job with Bevin.
"By offering people lucrative positions just because you can, I think is a slap in the face of representative democracy, and slap in the face to those who elected you," Stumbo said.
Stumbo also blasted the idea of Democrats leaving the party in the wake of Bevin's landslide win. One Louisville Democrat, Representative Denny Butler, has already defected. Stumbo calls it a violation of public trust and challenges Republicans to win the House at the polls.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Chase College of Law, Rep. Tilley has sponsored multiple pieces of significant legislation. His efforts have triggered a national model for change, protecting public safety, holding offenders accountable, while controlling corrections' costs, reducing recidivism, and greatly increasing drug treatment. Rep. Tilley has also led efforts to combat synthetic and prescription drugs, for which Kentucky has also received national acclaim.
Tilley lives in Hopkinsville with his wife, Shelly, and their three daughters Emma, Charlie and Caroline.
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