Frankfort, Ky. – Governor Matt Bevin has appointed State Representative John Tilley of Hopkinsville as Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Tilley is a former prosecutor who is nationally recognized for his work on criminal justice reform and drug policy.
“(Tilley) is well qualified to lead the effort to keep our citizens safe and improve our criminal justice system,” Governor Bevin said. “He will bring a high level of passion and innovation to this role. John will be a strong advocate for our state police, prosecutors, public defenders, corrections officers and all other justice cabinet employees.”
Representative Tilley, a Democrat, is serving a fifth term in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He has chaired the House Judiciary Committee since 2009, while also co-chairing many related joint bipartisan House/Senate task forces on criminal justice.
“I am honored to continue my public service in the Bevin Administration,” said Tilley. “I have a passion for public safety and the Governor and I have discussed a vision for the Justice Cabinet that protects citizens, restores victims and reforms wrongdoers; all in a focused environment where everything we do will be measured for accountability and performance.”
“I look forward to working closely with the Governor to identify and select the best possible people to lead the Kentucky State Police and Corrections, among other key roles in the Justice Cabinet,” he continued.
The appointment has the potential to disrupt the Democratic-controlled House in the 2016 elections. Currently Democrats hold a 53-47 advantage in the House; Republicans have controlled the Senate since 2000.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Chase College of Law, Rep. Tilley has sponsored a number of pieces of significant legislation. His efforts have triggered a national model for change, protecting public safety, holding offenders accountable, while controlling corrections’ costs, reducing recidivism, and greatly increasing drug treatment. Rep. Tilley has also led efforts to combat synthetic and prescription drugs, for which Kentucky has also received national acclaim.