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Representing the State - Public Protection

John Sevier State Office Building

Public Protection consists of five divisions dedicated to preserving the rights of Tennesseans in the areas of consumer issues and crime.

Consumer Advocate and Protection Division: Cynthia E. Kinser (Mills), Deputy

This division consists of two teams: Consumer Advocate and Consumer Protection. The Consumer Protection team protects consumers and businesses from unfair and deceptive trade practices, enforces state and federal antitrust laws, and enforces the Unauthorized Practice of Law statutes. The Consumer Advocate team represents the interests of Tennessee consumers of public utilities services.


Criminal Justice Division: Amy L. Tarkington, Deputy

The Criminal Justice Division handles any interlocutory or extraordinary appeals that arise in the course of criminal prosecutions. After criminal judgments are entered in the trial courts, the division handles all direct appeals and all post-conviction appeals. In state and federal habeas corpus proceedings, the Criminal Justice Division defends criminal judgments in both the trial and appellate courts. The division's defense of criminal judgments includes defending capital cases in state appellate and federal collateral review.


Law Enforcement and Special Prosecutions Division: Jennifer L. Smith, Deputy

This division handles criminal prosecution enforcement cases such as securities fraud and environmental law violations in addition to assisting the state’s district attorneys in similar prosecutions. The division also handles ome civil enforcement matters such as forfeitures.


Medicaid Fraud and Integrity Division: Peter M. Coughlan, Deputy

This division works with TennCare, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of Inspector General in combating medical provider fraud in the TennCare/Medicaid program.


Public Interest Division: Janet M. Kleinfelter, Deputy

Created in 2009, this division carries out the office’s statutory duty to oversee the operation of nonprofit entities on behalf of Tennesseans. The division also handles oversight of charitable trusts and gifts and charitable solicitations, as well as issues involving open meetings, public records, and campaigns and elections.


Tobacco Enforcement Division: John H. Sinclair, Jr., Deputy

The Tobacco Enforcement Division enforces the provisions of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and handles other tobacco–related matters.