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Metro Newsroom 

O'Connell Named County Attorney

Friday August 15, 2008

Mayor Jerry Abramson today named Mike O’Connell, a former judge and veteran lawyer, to fill the post of Jefferson County Attorney following the appointment of Irv Maze to a judgeship.

Gov. Steve Beshear has named Maze, who has served as county attorney for nearly 10 years, to fill the vacancy on the Jefferson County Circuit Court created by the recent death of Judge Kathleen Voor Montano.

“Mike has shown his commitment to public service and justice throughout his career,” Abramson said. “Irv leaves some very big shoes to fill, but I know that Mike has the experience and demonstrated ability to effectively lead the County Attorney’s Office.”

O’Connell has 10 years of experience as a judge and nearly seven years as an assistant county attorney in addition to nearly two decades of work in private practice. He was recently named a “Top Louisville Lawyer” by Louisville Magazine.

“Mike O'Connell has the experience and vision to move the County Attorney's Office forward,” Maze said. “Mayor Abramson’s decision will benefit the entire community.”

O’Connell served as Assistant Jefferson County Attorney from 1975 to 1980 before being appointed by then-Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. to serve as Jefferson District Judge, Division 6, a post to which he was later elected and served until 1987. That year, then-Gov. Martha Layne Collins appointed O’Connell as Jefferson Circuit Judge, Division 14, where he served until 1990.

O’Connell, a graduate of Xavier University and the University of Notre Dame, has been an attorney in private practice for the past 18 years. Last year, he rejoined the county attorney’s office as an assistant county attorney.

His professional accomplishments include three terms as Kentucky Bar Association Bar Governor for the 4th Supreme Court District, a member of the KBA’s Ethics Committee for the past 10 years, and a member of the KBA’s Ethics Hotline Committee from 1998 to 2002.

O’Connell’s extensive civic involvement includes chairing the Advisory Board of Little Sisters of the Poor for the past four years and serving on the Board of Directors of Beacon House since 2005.

He is president of the Kentucky Children’s Home Corporation and a member of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. He has served as chair of the Jefferson County Juvenile Justice Commission, as search committee member for two police chiefs, and is past chair of the School Board of Holy Spirit School.

Mike and his wife, Ellen, have three children – Annie, Michael and Matt.

Under state law, O’Connell will serve the remainder of the four-year term vacated by Maze that ends in December 2010.