Carr, as expected, will replace Olens as attorney general

[private]Gov. Nathan Deal confirmed Wednesday what had been widely rumored for weeks, naming Chris Carr as the state’s 48th attorney general, replacing Sam Olens effective Nov. 1.

Within 30 minutes after the Board of Regents named Olens the new president of Kennesaw State University,  Deal was holding a news conference in his ceremonial office to announce Carr’s appointment.

The selection of Carr, 44, had been criticized on some fronts because he will become the state’s top legal officer even though he was on inactive status with the State Bar of Georgia and hadn’t practiced law since 2007.

In response to a reporter’s question, Carr admitted, “No, I’ve never tried a case.”

There was also the matter of a constitutional provision that states:  “No person shall be Attorney General unless such person shall have been an active status member of the State Bar of Georgia for seven years.”

“We checked with the State Bar,” Deal said.  “The State Bar verified that he did (meet the constitutional requirement).”

Deal contended that Carr’s experience as commissioner of the economic development department gives him “impressive skills” and the experience necessary to run the 300-employee law department.

“He is extremely qualified as an administrator,” Deal said.  “The primary role of the attorney general is to be a great administrator.”

“I’m going to rely on the expertise as the department of law,” Carr said.

Carr is a former chief of staff to Sen. Johnny Isakson whose wife, Joan Kirchner, was later Isakson’s chief of staff.

Carr practiced law with the Atlanta firm Alston & Bird before becoming vice president and general counsel for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: attorney general , Chris Carr , Nathan Deal