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Dec. 19—Terre Haute Mayor-elect Brandon Sakbun announced Tuesday that Michael James Wright will serve as the city attorney and Jessica Thome will serve as controller in his administration.

“Jessica has over a decade’s worth of experience in accounting in both the private sector and public sector,” Sakbun stated in a news release. “Since her arrival as deputy controller three years ago, the office has made great strides. I am confident in her abilities to improve our city’s budget. Jessica and I are already hard at work reviewing the 2024 budget and identifying shortfalls and opportunities. The focus is on delivering the best services to taxpayers in the most optimal and efficient ways. She is well suited to help lead a full review of our city’s finances and chart the way forward.”

Thome is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has worked as a staff accountant for the Indiana Welfare & Pension Fund and staff accountant for Thompson Thrift Construction. She currently serves as the chief deputy controller for the city.

“Michael is an accomplished attorney who has ample experience in both private law and municipal law,” Sakbun said. “He has been a member of the Vigo County legal community since his graduation from law school in 2006. We have some challenges ahead as we are planning to update our city’s ordinances, zoning and structure of departments. Michael’s successes in municipal government as the Vigo County Council’s attorney and former attorney for the Vigo County Commissioners will be of great benefit to the team as we seek to modernize local government here in Terre Haute.”

Wright is the son of Robert and Cheryl Wright. He graduated from Terre Haute North Vigo High School in 1998, Purdue University, with a bachelor’s degree in 2002, and Valparaiso University School of Law in 2006. He is licensed to practice law in all state and federal courts in Indiana and has been since 2006.

Wright started his legal career working at Wright Shagley & Lowery, P.C. in 2006 and was appointed a Vigo County public defender for the Juvenile Division the same year. In 2016, he accepted a position as full time attorney for the Vigo County Commissioners during the litigation surrounding the conditions at the Vigo County Jail and the inception of the Convention Center Planning through the terms of Commissioners Jon Marvel, Brad Anderson, Judy Anderson and Brendan Kearns. In 2020, as the projects were winding down and in the hands of construction teams under the supervision of the commissioners, he went back to Division 6 as a major felony public defender. As Commissioners Mike Morris and Chris Switzer came into office, he returned to private practice. In 2022, Wright accepted the position as attorney for the Vigo County Council.

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