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Three NKY Attorneys Nominated to Replace Gentry on Kenton Family Court

The Judicial Nominating Commission announced three nominees to replace Dawn Gentry in the 16th Judicial Circuit, Division 5 Family Court.

The court is more commonly referred to as Kenton County Family Court.

Gentry was removed as judge in August by Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission after facing judicial misconduct charges.

Attorneys Acena Johnson Beck, of Covington, Thomas Anthony Rauf, of Edgewood, and Carol Lavonn Risk, of Fort Wright were announced as nominees. Governor Andy Beshear will make the final decision on whom to appoint to fulfill the remainder of Gentry's term.

Gentry was elected to a full term in 2018 after previously being appointed by former Governor Matt Bevin in 2016.

Beck has served as the executive director of the Children’s Law Center for nearly four years and was previously the center’s deputy director and before that, its managing attorney. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she has been an adjunct professor of juvenile law since January 2020.

Rauf has his own private law practice with a focus that includes family law. He has been in private practice for nearly 11 years and previously served as in-house counsel for a business. He serves as a court-appointed attorney in Kenton County Family Court for juvenile dependency, neglect and abuse cases. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

Risk has her own private practice with a focus that includes family law and serves as a court-appointed attorney in Kenton County Family Court for juvenile dependency, neglect and abuse cases. She previously served as an assistant Kenton County attorney in the Child Support Office, where she established and enforced child support orders. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Family Court is a division of Circuit Court and has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.

When a vacancy occurs, a notice is published and attorneys may recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of all applicants are not released.

Following the submission of an application, interested individuals answer a questionnaire.

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees.

This judicial circuit has six members: Stephanie Dietz, of Edgewood, David Davidson, of Covington, Kimberly Plummer, of Fort Mitchell, Alecia Webb-Edgington, of Covington, Millie Diehl, of Covington, and Katie Meyer, of Covington.

The three names are then submitted to the governor for consideration.

Beshear has sixty days to choose a replacement.

His office will make the announcement.

-Staff report

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