Damon Preston Reappointed Public Advocate

Cheryl Witt and Blanche Williams being honored by Public Advocate Preston prior to their retirement in 2021, for over 40 years of service.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2021) – On the recommendation of the Kentucky Public Advocacy Commission, Governor Andy Beshear has reappointed Damon Preston to serve another four-year term as Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the leader of the statewide public defender system and the Department of Public Advocacy (DPA).

Commission Chair Cortney Lollar commented on the reappointment asserting, “Kentucky’s public defender program is a highly respected, nationally recognized program that has continued to flourish under Public Advocate Preston. During his four years as Public Advocate, Damon deftly navigated the agency through the uncertain and challenging waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginnings of a racial reckoning following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others. He also kept the agency in a fiscally sound position despite the budget challenges facing our state over the past few years.”

In response to the reappointment, Public Advocate Preston said, “I’m honored and blessed to be able to serve the Administration and DPA clients for another four years.  I appreciate Governor Beshear’s strong support of Kentucky public defenders.” Continuing an emphasis on open communication between DPA’s central administration and its employees around the state, Preston announced his reappointment during an online Statewide Employee Meeting on July 23.  Preston encouraged DPA staff members that the reappointment is a vote of confidence in the professionalism and dedication of everyone in the Department, but stressed that there is much work to be done for our clients in the next four years.

The DPA is the statewide public defender system charged with providing legal representation to indigent Kentuckians facing loss of liberty due to criminal allegations. The DPA is committed to fighting for justice for their clients and seeking systemic change to address racial inequities, law enforcement misconduct, and violence.