Gov. Lee names interim Knox County public defender ahead of 2020 special election

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has announced the appointment of an interim public defender before a special election in 2020.

Eric Lutton has been appointed to be Knox County’s Public Defender effective Nov. 1. The interim appointment, for Tennessee’s 6th Judicial District, was made by Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday.

Lutton will remain public defender until a 2020 special election is held to fill the remaining term vacated by outgoing Public Defender Mark Stephens. Stephens announced in August he would resign from his office at the end of October. His last day is Thursday.

“It is an honor to be selected for this position by Governor Lee,” Eric said. “I believe that the Community Law Office is one of the finest Public Defender Offices in the Country and I look forward to building on the excellent leadership of outgoing Public Defender Mark Stephens.”]

Lutton will be sworn in 9 a.m. Nov. 1 as the District Public Defender by the Honorable Steven Sword in Criminal Court Division 1.

Eric joined the Community Law Office in 2013. He is an alumnus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where he graduated summa cum laude, and The University of Tennessee College of Law, where he graduated cum laude. After law school Eric established his own practice, focusing on indigent defense, until he joined the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office.

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