VOL. 129 | NO. 187 | Thursday, September 25, 2014
Weirich Sworn In for Eight-Year Term
By Bill Dries
Amy Weirich took the oath of office Tuesday, Sept. 23, for a full eight-year term of office, saying the prosecutor’s office has a role in crime prevention as well as prosecuting those accused of crimes.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam administered the oath of office to Weirich seven weeks after she decisively beat Democratic challenger and former Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown in the August county general elections at the end of a hard-fought campaign in which Brown got personal.
Haslam noted it was her second bid for elected office in three years after more than 20 years as an appointed career prosecutor until Haslam appointed her to replace District Attorney General Bill Gibbons in 2011. She was Haslam’s first appointee as governor, and within minutes of the announcement said she intended to run for the rest of Gibbons’ term of office. She ran for the first time in a 2012 special election and won.
Weirich said the introduction to the life of an elected leader has been an education in which she has spent a lot of time outside the Criminal Justice Center, where the state criminal courts and her office are located, and away from her family.
“In that time, I have learned many things about myself, about my wonderful family,” she said. “I have learned that politics can bring out the best in most and the worst in some.
“They have certainly seen their lion’s share of the good side of people and sometimes the not-so-good side of people,” Weirich continued, speaking of her family. “Fortunately the good voters of Shelby County came together and the right thing happened, not just in my race but throughout the community.”
Weirich pledged that her office will seek accountability for crime victims, including “scared witnesses and grieving mothers.”
“Think of those victims,” she urged her office staff and others gathered in the Criminal Justice Center auditorium.
She also pointed to efforts like the veterans court and re-entry programs for felons released from prison, “doing everything we can to make sure that those who want an extra hand, who want to take advantage of a re-entry program … that we give them that foundation.”
After Weirich took the oath of office from Haslam, Criminal Court Judge James Lammey administered the oaths of office for assistant district attorneys and criminal investigators in the district attorney general’s office.