Brian Kemp names Kevin Tanner to run Georgia mental health agency

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has named Kevin Tanner, a former Republican state House member who led a mental health reform task force, to lead the state’s mental health agency.

Tanner was selected Tuesday to run the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities beginning Dec. 16. Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald is retiring after six years in the role, and the agency will be led on an interim basis by Monica Johnson until Tanner takes over.

Tanner served four terms in the House representing Lumpkin County and parts of Dawson and Forsyth counties, before losing a primary bid for Congress in 2020.

Currently the Forsyth County manager, Tanner previously served as the Dawson County manager. Kemp named him chair of the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission when it was created in 2019. The group spearheaded a new law earlier this year that did more to require private insurers pay for mental health treatment and overhauled how the state provides some services.

Kemp also announced Revenue Commissioner Robyn Crittenden is resigning for a private sector job on Nov. 25. Crittenden was previously the Commissioner of Human Services and served briefly as secretary of state after Kemp stepped down from that role in 2018. She was also the chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which oversees the spending of lottery proceeds.

Deputy Commissioner Frank O’Connell will lead the tax collection agency for now.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.




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