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Law Operations

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The Law Operations Division (LOPS), provides administrative support for the Kentucky Public Advocacy statewide system in order to fulfill the statutory mandate of KRS Chapter 31 of high quality representation of clients. Those duties include providing: caseload data and analysis, fiscal information, professional work environment, technology, recruitment of high quality staff, personnel actions, criminal justice issue analysis, grant application and management, payroll and health benefits, and library information services. The Division works to help defender staff operate efficiently and effectively.​ LOPS addresses all matters involving Human Resources, Information Technology and the Fiscal Brach of the Department of Public Advocacy. 



Samuel Cox returned to the DPA as the Director of Law Operations in 2017. Sam most recently had a successful practice as a private criminal defense attorney and expert mitigation consultant in the field of death penalty criminal defense litigation, investigation and mitigation.  Prior to private practice, Sam was a 12-year employee of DPA as a staff attorney in Bell, Madison and Fayette Counties, before joining the Capital Trial Branch, where he performed with a high degree of skill and experience on DPA’s most complex work.  As such, he educated public defenders on highly complex issues such as litigation of Intellectual Disability in death penalty cases. You can reach Sam Cox by email or phone at 502-782-3553.








DEFENDER SERVICES BRANCH: The Defender Services Branch is responsible for providing quality assurance in maintaining the accountability and efficacy of holistic programs within the agency, such as the Alternative Sentencing Worker Program (ASWP). The Branch assists the agency with recruiting, orientation, ongoing training and education, caseload management, and data entry/analysis for the programs it oversees.  Additionally, the Branch works closely with DPA Leadership and collaborates with other agencies within the criminal justice system.​ You can reach the Defender Services branch by EMAIL

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Sarah G. Johnson​, Defender Services Branch Manager, returned to the DPA Alternative Sentencing Program she helped create. Sarah holds a BSW from Morehead State University and a Masters of Social Work with a mental health concentration from the University of Kentucky. Mrs. Johnson started her career as a mental health and substance abuse treatment provider. She was one of the three original social workers hired for the DPA Social Work Pilot Project in 2006 and worked five years in that capacity. During her previous time with DPA, Sarah was instrumental in establishing our social work program. Sarah excelled in leadership by helping to show the value of the program. In August 2011, Mrs. Johnson was appointed to the Kentucky Parole Board. She returned to DPA in December 2015 and is excited to be back to help lead our program as the Defender Services Branch Manager.

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FISCAL BRANCH: The DPA Fiscal Branch is primarily responsible for the administrative support of statewide Public Defender offices in the areas of Budgeting, Accounting, Real Property and Purchasing functions for the agency.  Additionally, the Fiscal staff provides guidance and support for the archiving,  procurement card, fleet programs and travel reimbursements within the Department.  For assistance, the Fiscal Branch can be reached through the helpdesk at DPA-Fiscal@helpdesk.corrections.ky.gov​ or by phone at (502) 782-3545.​

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Brian Rogers​, Fiscal Branch Manager, joined The Department of Public Advocacy in October 2013 and has responsibility for all budgeting, accounting, and business functions. Brian is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Sullivan University.  He has held accounting/auditing positions with the Finance, Transportation, and Labor Cabinets during his career with the Commonwealth.  Brian resides in Georgetown with his wife Jamie and their three daughters, Avery, Rylie, and Baylee.​






HUMAN RESOURCES: The DPA Human Resource Branch is responsible for all overseeing  personnel, payroll, health/life benefits, employee evaluation process, workers compensation, FMLA/Sick Leave Sharing, assisting employees with EEO and ADA inquiries for the agency. For assistance, the Human Resource Branch can be reached through the helpdesk or by phone at (502) 564-5247.​

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Sherri Payne, Human Resources Branch Manager, began her career with DPA in December of 2010. Prior to coming to DPA, Sherri had 13 years of state government experience working with the Department of Juvenile Justice and Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center.  Her educational achievements include a Bachelor Degree in Business Management from Sullivan University in which she graduated with honors and was the recipient of the President’s Cup.  Sherri resides in Louisville with her husband and has two sons and two grandchildren.







INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: The DPA Information Technology Branch is primarily responsible for maintaining the JustWare Case Management System.  The branch also acts as a liaison between DPA and COT, as well as other agencies and vendors, in order to facilitate DPA’s technology needs.  The branch is also instrumental in providing support for meetings, trainings, conferences, and other events hosted by DPA.  For assistance, the Information Technology Branch can be contacted at dpa.admins@ky.gov.​

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Scott Richard, Information Technology Branch Manager, originally worked for DPA as a Network Analyst from 2004 until 2007 providing support to DPA field offices east of Frankfort.  He returned to DPA in early 2011 as the Information Systems Manager.  Prior to joining DPA, Scott has worked in secure communications in the USAF, been a Systems Administrator and technology instructor for Honeywell’s engineering academy, and an independent technology contractor working with medical firms and hospitals in eastern Kentucky.  Scott is a graduate of Morehead State University.  Scott and his family currently reside in Frankfort.