The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has promoted one of its longtime lawyers to a second-in-command spot that means guiding 144 state government attorneys and working more closely with local prosecutors, police officers, and those in the county criminal justice systems.
Gary D. Secrest moves up from his position of deputy attorney general and chief counsel for the appellate division to become the new chief deputy for the state agency. The second-in-command post has been vacant since Zoeller took over as Attorney General in January 2009.
An Indianapolis native and Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis graduate, the 51-year-old Secrest was sworn in on Thursday afternoon at the Statehouse. Secrest first joined the AG’s Office in 1984 as a law clerk and served as a deputy attorney general in the appellate division from 1985 to 1993. He then moved on to other government roles – chief deputy state treasurer, fund administrator for the Public Deposit Fund, and assistant corporate counsel for the litigation division of the Indianapolis city legal department. Returning to the AG’s Office in 2001 during Steve Carter’s administration, Secrest took over as chief counsel of the appeals division where he supervised attorneys in the state and federal appellate courts.
Through the years, he’s overseen the first DNA criminal appeal in Indiana, briefed the state’s case in the Mike Tyson conviction appeal, and later handled the appeal of the 2003 mayoral election in East Chicago that led to the Indiana Supreme Court ordering a new election.
Aside from the chief deputy duties, Secrest will also remain the ethics officer for the AG’s Office.
Deputy Attorney General Steve Creason, who has led the agency’s habeas corpus and capital litigation section and been with the office since 1999, will take over for Secrest in the appellate division.