A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Nine Kentucky students honored for work in 2018 Public Service Recognition Week poster contest

Nine of the Commonwealth’s most talented young artists were honored in Frankfort Monday for their work in the 2018 Public Service Recognition Week poster contest winners. During a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Matt Bevin and Personnel Cabinet Secretary Thomas Stephens praised the talent and creativity of the winners. “More than 1,300 students representing 86 schools from across...

Family courts pilot project in six counties to allow public to observe some child protection cases

For the first time in Kentucky, some child protection cases will be open to the public under a four-year pilot project that will take place 2018-2021. The Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an order March 13 authorizing the Open Court Pilot Project. In 2018, Family Courts will be open from March 19-May 31 in Hopkins and Jefferson counties and the four-county judicial circuit of Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton...

Judicial Nominating Commission names nominees for Fayette County Family, District Court judgships

The Judicial Nominating Commission has announced nominees to fill two upcoming judicial vacancies in Fayette County. The vacancies will be in the 22nd Circuit’s Division 1-Family Court and Division 3-General Jurisdiction Circuit Court. The seats will become vacant Dec. 31 with the retirements of Family Court Judge Timothy N. Philpot and Circuit Court Judge James D. Ishmael. Nominees for Family Court...

Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for upcoming Court of Appeals vacancy

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., on Tuesday announced nominees to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Court of Appeals. The vacancy is in the 7th Appellate District, 2nd Division. The district is composed of 22 Eastern Kentucky counties. The three nominees for the Court of Appeals judgeship are attorneys Gene Smallwood Jr. of Whitesburg, Jimmie...

Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for Jefferson Family Court judgeship

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill an upcoming vacancy in Jefferson Family Court. The three nominees for the Family Court judgeship are attorneys Brendan Russell Daugherty of Louisville, Bryan Daniel Gatewood of Fisherville and Lauren Adams Ogden of Louisville. Daugherty has his own law practice in which he handles...

Justice Cabinet creates incentive fund to provide alternatives to out-of-home placement for youth

The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and the Department of Juvenile Justice are launching a new incentive fund for local programs that supervise youth in the community, cutting taxpayer costs and reserving secure facilities for only the most serious offenders. The move is part of a comprehensive overhaul of Kentucky’s juvenile justice system – known as Senate Bill 200 – that took effect...

Chief Justice Minton provides update of state’s courts during 2017 State of Judiciary Address

Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. gave the legislature an update today on how the Judicial Branch is handling the complex issues facing the court system. “As we meet today, the challenges before us are many,” he said. “We’re grappling to keep up with rapid technological and social developments. The opioid epidemic has expanded court caseloads and altered Drug Court treatment in ways...

Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks’ celebrate 25 years of Trust For Life at AOC college

Kentucky circuit court clerks celebrated the 25th anniversary of their Trust For Life program as part of the 2017 Circuit Court Clerks Fall College that took place Sept. 17-20 in Covington. The Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks created the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life to educate Kentuckians about the life-saving mission of organ donation. The program was the first of its...

Mark Wohlander: Whistleblowers play key role in rooting out government waste, fraud, abuse

By Mark Wohlander Special to KyForward One could only hope Chief Justice John D. Minton was sincere when he said “transparency and accountability are bedrock principles in maintaining trust in state government.” More than 30 years after the Kentucky legislature enacted the state’s open records laws, the Kentucky Supreme Court has finally acknowledged that it is not above the law. The policy overturns...

Kentucky Supreme Court adopts first formal open records policy, expands electronic access

The Supreme Court of Kentucky has approved an open records policy that guides how the public accesses the administrative records of the state court system. The seven Supreme Court justices voted unanimously to adopt the policy, which will take effect Aug. 15. This is the first open records policy for the Administrative Office of the Courts, the operations arm of the court system. The policy is in...

Kentucky Drug Court head Connie M. Payne inducted into National Association of Drug Court Hall of Fame

Connie M. Payne, who heads Kentucky Drug Court and other specialty court programs for the Administrative Office of the Courts, has been named to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Hall of Fame for her lasting contributions to the treatment court field. Payne was inducted into NADCP’s Stanley M. Goldstein Drug Court Hall of Fame on July 12 during the association’s annual conference...

Suspended Administrative Office of Courts employee Brown files suit on ‘improprieties,’ faces termination

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A suspended employee of the Administrative Office of the Courts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging improprieties within the government agency that oversees the operation of the state’s judicial system. Scott Brown was placed on administrative leave earlier this year after reporting concerns to his supervisor, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Franklin...

AOC director Dudgeon requests review of court system’s financial operations by state auditor

In a move to increase transparency and implement best practices in financial management, the Administrative Office of the Courts has asked the Auditor of Public Accounts to examine its financial operations and make recommendations on how to potentially improve internal management controls. The audit started June 1. Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said he welcomed the review...

Judicial Nominating Commission announces circuit and district judge nominees for Jefferson County

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced nominees to fill the vacant Circuit Court and District Court judgeships in Jefferson County. Jefferson County is the 30th Judicial Circuit/District and the vacancies are in the circuit’s 2nd Division and the district’s 11th Division. Circuit Court Judgeship: The three nominees for the circuit judgeship...

Three finalists named for vacant District Court judgeship for Bracken, Fleming and Mason counties

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Justice Michelle M. Keller on behalf of Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., has announced nominees to fill the vacant District Court judgeship for Bracken, Fleming and Mason counties. The counties make up the 19th Judicial District. The three nominees for the judgeship are attorneys Kimberly Leet Razor of Flemingsburg, Jeffrey Louis Schumacher of...

Fayette Circuit Judge Goodwin among three nominees for vacancy on state Court of Appeals

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., Friday announced three nominees to fill the vacant Court of Appeals judgeship that serves the 5th Appellate District in Central Kentucky. The vacancy is in the district’s Division 1. The commission met Thursday in Frankfort. The three nominees for the judgeship are Pamela R. Goodwine of Lexington and Robert...

Volunteers sought in 37 Kentucky counties to review cases of children in foster care

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 37 Kentucky counties are seeking volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care and other out-of-home care. The boards are in need of volunteers to review cases of children placed in care because of dependency, neglect or abuse to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The counties in need of volunteers...

Former newsman Staats named to lead state Citizen Foster Care Review Board

Howard E. “Ed” Staats of Crestwood has been named head of the State Citizen Foster Care Review Board, which guides the work of local Citizen Foster Care Review Boards statewide. Staats, a retired news service executive, advanced to be the board’s state chairman after serving in the elected position of vice chairman for two years. His term as chairman is two years. CFCRBs are teams of court-appointed...

Chief Justice Minton announces judicial redistricting plan for Kentucky’s Circuit, District courts

Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. has introduced the first Judicial Redistricting Plan Kentucky has seen in decades. The Kentucky legislature will consider the plan during the 2017 regular session of the General Assembly. If passed, the plan will take effect in 2022, when all Circuit Court, Family Court and District Court judges are on the ballot. “I am pleased to announce that the Judicial...

Volunteers needed to review cases of children in foster care in Fayette County

Fayette County Citizen Foster Care Review Boards are seeking volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care. The boards are in need of volunteers to review cases of children placed in foster care because of dependency, neglect or abuse to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. Volunteers are not required to live in Fayette County to participate. All...