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Senate Republicans appoint new chief legal counsel, chief of staff

June 1, 2017

A longtime member of the Indiana Senate Republicans legal staff has been appointed chief legal counsel for the Senate majority.

Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne announced Wednesday Jennifer Mertz will assume the role of chief legal counsel for the Senate majority, in addition to her current role as principal secretary of the Senate. Mertz will replace Jeff Papa, who is leaving the Senate in July to take a position with Barnes & Thornburg LLP. 

Mertz has worked in various legal roles within the Senate since 2000, currently serving as principal secretary and deputy chief legal counsel for the Senate Majority Caucus. She earned her law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

“Jen Mertz has been an integral part of the Senate for nearly two decades,” Long said in a statement. “She is a major reason the Senate runs as smoothly and efficiently as it does, and we are all very grateful for her dedicated service as Principal Secretary. Taking on these new duties as Chief Legal Counsel will allow Jen to apply her considerable legal talents in a wider capacity.”

Papa also serves as chief of staff for the Senate Republicans, a position that will be filled by current Majority Communication Director Skip Brown after Papa’s departure. Brown has worked for the Senate in policy and communications roles since 2009. He will assume the title of chief of staff and director of strategic communications after Papa’s official resignation.

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