- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Lee on Monday announced a new interim commissioner to oversee the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Lee, a Republican, said in a news release that Deputy Commissioner Tony Mathews will serve as the temporary head of the agency until a permanent commissioner is named.

“Tony Mathews has served the Department of Human Services well and I thank him for his willingness to take on this important role,” Lee said in a statement. “Human Services provides critical programs to Tennessee families in need and we’re committed to maintaining an excellent standard of customer service during this transition period.”

Mathews replaces former Commissioner Danielle Barnes, who announced her resignation earlier this year. Barnes, who has worked in state government for 16 years, will be leaving the department for the private sector.

Former Gov. Bill Haslam initially appointed Barnes to her post in 2017 and Lee retained her last year.

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