Gov. Joe Kernan announced that he has appointed Karen T. Davis of Indianapolis as public access counselor, replacing Michael Hurst. Her term runs through June 30, 2007. Hurst leaves to head the state’s bioterrorism preparedness program.
Indiana has a new public access counsleor
From Press Release
INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2004) — Gov. Joe Kernan today announced that he has appointed Karen T. Davis of Indianapolis as public access counselor, replacing Michael Hurst. Her term runs through June 30, 2007.
“Ensuring public access to government decisions and records is one of our most important tasks,” Kernan said. “I’m excited that Karen has decided to rejoin state government and take on this important role. We are happy to have someone of her caliber on our team.”
The public access counselor position was created by executive order in 1998 by Gov. Frank O’Bannon to provide advice and assistance to the general public and government offices concerning Indiana’s public access laws. In 1999, the position was established by statute, with the counselor to be appointed by the governor to a four-year term. Additional duties include providing education and training on Indiana’s public access laws and ensuring Indiana’s public records are readily available to Hoosiers.
Davis has practiced law at Sommer Barnard Ackerson PC since June 2002. Prior to that, she was general counsel to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration from 1998 to 2002. She also has served as deputy counsel to FSSA and as a law clerk to Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Jonathan Robertson. She holds a law degree from Valparaiso University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.
Hurst has served as public access counselor since 2003, and resigned to take a position as director of bioterrorism preparedness at the Indiana State Department of Health. Hurst previously served as deputy legal counsel and executive assistant to both O’Bannon and Kernan. He worked previously at the ISDH from 2001 to 2003 in positions that included chief legal counsel and deputy state health commissioner.
“Michael has done a terrific job,” Kernan said. “He’s decided to return to public health, and I know he will serve the bioterrorism program and the state well in this role.”
Davis will assume her duties on July 6, 2004. Hurst will begin on July 12, 2004.