Justin P. Wilson

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Justin Wilson
Comptroller of Tennessee
Assumed office
January 15, 2009
Governor Phil Bredesen
Bill Haslam
Preceded by John Morgan
Personal details
Born (1945-01-04) January 4, 1945 (age 72)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Engelhardt
Children 4
Education Stanford University (BA)
Vanderbilt University (JD)
New York University (LLM)
Warren National University

Justin Potter Wilson (born January 4, 1945) is an American lawyer and Republican politician who is Tennessee state Comptroller of the Treasury. He has been Tennessee deputy governor, a federal judicial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Oakland, California, in 1945, Wilson earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1967, a law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1970, an L.L.M. in taxation from New York University in 1974, and a master's degree in criminal justice from the unaccredited Kennedy-Western University in 1995.[1][2][3]


Private practice of law[edit]

Wilson is a member of the bar in the states of Tennessee and New York. He practiced law with the Nashville law firm of Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis from 1976 until 1996. He rejoined the firm in 2003 and resigned in 2009 when he became state comptroller.[2][4]

Government service[edit]

From 1996 until 2003, Wilson was deputy governor to Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, in which position he was the governor's chief policy advisor. He also served as a commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.[1]

As top policy advisor to Governor Sundquist, Wilson focused on environmental issues. He was honored as the state's Conservationist of the Year in 1997.[2] The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park was renamed in his honor in 2002 in recognition of his environmental work, which included cleanup of pollution in the Pigeon River[5] and negotiating land donations from the Tennessee Valley Authority.[6] He was named the Tennessee Conservation League’s “Conservationist of the Year” in 1997.[6] He battled United States Environmental Protection Agency smog rules [7] and toxic waste incineration at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,[8] and negotiated water allocation of the Tennessee River with the TVA.[9]

On January 15, 2009, Wilson was elected Tennessee state comptroller by the Tennessee General Assembly.[2][10]

Judicial nomination[edit]

On March 20, 1992, President George H. W. Bush nominated Wilson to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that became vacant after Judge Robert B. Krupansky assumed senior status. Wilson received a rating of "qualified" from the American Bar Association.[11] Wilson's nomination languished in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which never held a hearing. Wilson's nomination expired with the end of Bush's presidency. Several years later, Judge Karen Nelson Moore was confirmed to the seat to which Wilson had been nominated.

Professional activities[edit]

Wilson is or was a member of the Financial Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and chairman of the Nashville Electric Board, Davidson County Metropolitan Health Board, Community Health Agency of Nashville and Davidson County, and the Committee of Visitors of the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University. He also has served as foreman of the Davidson County Grand Jury and as a member of the executive committee of Meharry Medical College.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson is married to Barbara Engelhardt.[2] They have two sons.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Justin P. Wilson, Adjunct Professor of Law, Comptroller, State of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University Law School website, accessed October 28, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Comptroller of the Treasury, Tennessee Blue Book 2009-2010, page 107.
  3. ^ 'Money Cop' Candidate Silent About Contracts Scandal, NewsChannel5.com, January 6, 2009
  4. ^ Former Tennessee Deputy Governor Joins One of Southeast's Leading Law Firms: Justin Wilson to Focus on Regulatory Practice, February 2, 2003
  5. ^ Paper Mill Pollution, All Things Considered, NPR, Feb 3, 1997
  6. ^ a b Cumberland Trail Renamed for Sundquist Aide Justin Wilson, Chattanoogan, Sep 23, 2002
  7. ^ Tennessee Governor Talks of Revolt on E.P.A. Smog Rules, by Robyn Meredith, New York Times, Mar 15, 1998
  8. ^ Governor cuts flow to toxic incinerator, by Laura Frank, The Tennessean, Mar 4, 1998
  9. ^ Tennessee Officials Request Water Budget from TVA for Tennessee River, by Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times/Free Press, Feb 20, 2002
  10. ^ Blayne Clements, New state constitutional officers elected, Clarksville Online, January 17, 2009
  11. ^ Ratings of Judicial Nominees, 102nd Congress, American Bar Association, accessed October 28, 2011

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Morgan
Comptroller of Tennessee