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Staff photo / Judge Tom Greenholtz addresses his courtroom during a RICO case call-in on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

NASHVILLE — State lawmakers on Wednesday confirmed Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz to serve on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division.

Also confirmed by the House and Senate were Jeffrey Usman, an associate professor of law at Belmont University College of Law, to serve on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Middle Division, and Kyle Hixson, a criminal court judge in Knoxville, to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division.

The House and Senate met in joint convention to confirm the appointments made by Gov. Bill Lee. The House vote for Greenholtz was 91-0, while senators voted 31-0.

Greenholtz was first appointed by then-Gov. Bill Haslam to the 11th Judicial District Criminal Court judgeship in 2015 to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Rebecca Stern. He later ran in 2016 and was elected.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1996 and his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville in 1999. Greenholtz later worked for the Chattanooga-based law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel from 2006 until his judicial appointment. He has worked as an arbitrator as well as an adjunct professor of political science at UTC.

Greenholtz also served as a law clerk for then-Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William M. Barker, also of Chattanooga, for three years. During his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Greenholtz was asked who his judicial role model was at the state level.

"No question," Greenholtz said, "my former boss Justice Barker."

— Compiled by Andy Sher

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