Dunavant

Mike Dunavant, right, with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Jason Mumpower is hiring former federal prosecutor Mike Dunavant as chief investigative counsel.

Dunavant was the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in the Western District of Tennessee. Previously, he was the district attorney general in Tennessee’s 25th Judicial District for more than a decade. According to a release, Dunavant will work with Division of Investigations Director Jeff Puckett in “investigating allegations of fraud, waste and abuse in government and other publicly funded entities.”

“Mike Dunavant is a widely respected public servant and a skilled attorney,” Mumpower said in the release. “His experience and wisdom will help our office achieve one of its most important responsibilities — to uncover fraud and hold people accountable when they steal from taxpayers.”

During his tenure as U.S. attorney, Dunavant did not shy away from political investigations. He pursued federal charges against a Jackson musician and Black Lives Matter supporter who posted posed photos with a fake Molotov cocktail in front of a police van and against state Sen. Katrina Robinson, a Memphis Democrat, for alleged wire fraud and money laundering at her business.

He said that Alice Johnson — a Memphian serving life in prison on a drug charge whom Trump pardoned and invited to the State of the Union and to speak at the Republican National Convention — was “motivated now by continued greed for money, fame and celebrity” and that “uninformed members of the public continue to celebrate her criminality.”

“I don’t understand why anyone is wasting their time on this,” Lucian Pera, a Memphis attorney and former Tennessee Bar Association president, told HuffPost of the Facebook prosecution. Pera added that Dunavant was a “fairly aggressive U.S. attorney.”

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