Russell Johnson, 9th Judicial District attorney general, was recently elected to serve as secretary for the Tennessee District Attorney General Conference’s executive committee.

“It is a honor to be selected to serve in a leadership role,” Johnson said in an email correspondence. “Since 2012 my focus in our conference has been serving on the National District Attorneys Association board of directors on behalf of the conference. This will increase my responsibilities, but it is a welcome challenge during what has become difficult times for our state’s criminal justice system given the COVID-19 restrictions that slowed us to a crawl with criminal cases months ago. We have just recently begun to pick up the pace.

“August will be determinative in Loudon County, where we are operating without a courthouse, whether we can work on the backlog of higher profile murder cases to trial using the Lenoir City City Hall courtroom with the recently passed legislation that allows us to hold jury trials outside of the Loudon city limits,” he added.

Johnson was first elected attorney general in 2006 and reelected in 2014 for the second time. Beforehand, he served as a state representative from 2000-06. Johnson has held positions on the Judicial Nomination Commission, the Task Force for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Task Force on Judicial Redistricting.

He currently serves on the Board of Professional Responsibility for the 2nd Judicial District and is the state’s member on the National District Attorneys board of directors since 2012.

“The conference was created to support Tennessee’s elected district attorneys in their constitutional duty to seek justice and protect our citizens,” Guy R. Jones, Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference’s newly elected executive director, said in a release. “The executive committee guides that work. District attorneys have a unique role that reaches beyond prosecuting criminal acts. Seeking justice requires difficult choices, new approaches, and a commitment to protecting victims and their rights. General Johnson’s leadership will be vital as we continue in this mission.”