Maria Bush will serve as the new Open Records Counsel in the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC), the department announced in a Monday statement. Bush will join Assistant General Counsel Seth May in providing assistance to Tennesseans through the OORC.
— TN Comptroller (@TNCOT) April 4, 2022
Bush replaces Lee Pope, who had served as Open Records Counsel since 2017. According to her biography, Bush is a graduate of Aquinas College in Nashville where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration. She received her law degree from Belmont University’s College of Law.
As Open Records Counsel, Bush will lead the OORC, which serves as a resource for citizens, media, and governmental entities who have questions about Tennessee’s public records and open meetings laws, according to the Comptroller’s Office.
“The Office of Open Records Counsel has assisted thousands of people who have questions about public records and open meetings,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “I am pleased that Maria will continue this great work to ensure our laws are followed that keep the government open and accessible to Tennesseans.”
Prior to joining the Comptroller’s Office, Bush worked as Associate General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, according to the department. She also worked as a law clerk with Taylor, Pigue, Marchetti, & Blair.
The OORC also helps Tennessee citizens and governmental entities understand these laws through educational outreach as well as promulgating policies, best practices, and guidelines. The OORC’s assistance and education efforts are crucial to ensuring transparency in government, according to the department.
On its website, the OORC notes that although the office assists requestors in determining and locating the correct governmental records custodian, the office does not serve as a clearinghouse for all public records requests and does not make public records requests on behalf of others.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Maria Bush” by Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. Background Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Andre Porter. CC BY-SA 3.0.