Tennessee House speaker announces new chief of staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton has hired Sammie Arnold as his new chief of staff.

Arnold most recently served as the assistant commissioner of community and rural development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Previously, he worked as a legislative liaison for former Gov. Bill Haslam.

“I’ve known Sammie and his family for several years and have worked with him extensively throughout his time as a staffer with former Gov. Bill Haslam, as well as in his roles with our Department of Economic and Community Development,” Sexton said in a statement.

Arnold replaces Holt Whitt, who was Sexton’s former interim chief of staff. Whitt was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this year after the FBI searched several legislative offices. Whitt has since taken a position with the Department of Human Resources.

Arnold is the husband of Gov. Bill Lee’s communication director, Laine Arnold.

His first day will be Sept. 1.