(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today the appointment of Colleen Zahn as chief of the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division. The appointment is effective immediately and follows Friday’s retirement of longtime Division Chief Paul Panther.

Zahn joined the Office of the Attorney General in 2011 as a deputy attorney general assigned to the Idaho Department of Correction. Most recently, she’s represented state agencies in a variety of litigation as an attorney in the office’s Civil Litigation Division.

Prior to joining the office, Zahn worked as a private attorney for 10 years, focusing on employment defense, complex commercial, civil rights defense and real property litigation.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division includes a roster of attorneys, criminal prosecutors, POST-certified investigators and support staff. The division includes the Special Prosecutions and Internet Crimes Against Children units.

“Colleen is an immensely talented attorney and has excelled everywhere I’ve asked her to serve,” Wasden said. “I’m grateful she’s agreed to take on this challenge and have no doubt she will excel in her new role, too.”

Zahn graduated from the University of Idaho in 1995 with a B.S. in public relations, and in 2000 with a Juris Doctor degree.

Panther retired on September 20 after 21 years in the office.

“I want to publicly thank Paul for his dedicated service to the citizens of our state,” Wasden added. “His knowledge of the law and steady demeanor made him an excellent division chief. I congratulate Paul on an outstanding legal career and wish him all the best in his retirement.”