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News in DPA

Vicki O'Connell Appointed Human Resources Branch Manager

The Public Advocate is pleased to announce that Vicki O’Connell has been appointed as Human Resources Branch Manager for Law Operations.  She is currently a Human Resources Administrator with DPA. Her expertise is in personnel and payroll. Since her employment with DPA she has gained knowledge in Health Insurance, Sick Leave, Workers’ Comp, and Family Medical Leave as well as understanding the vital services provided by DPA to the Commonwealth.  Vicki started with the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2007 with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Before working for the Commonwealth she was part of the Top Management Team with McDonald’s Restaurants in Frankfort, Versailles and Lexington where she was employed as Marketing Director. Vicki has lived in Frankfort her entire life where she enjoys her kids and grandkids.


Jennifer Wittmeyer Appointed Central Regional Manager

The Public Advocate is pleased to announce that Jennifer Wittmeyer has been appointed as the new Central Regional Manager.  Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from George Mason School of Law in Arlington, Virginia and received her undergraduate degree from Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. While living in Washington, D.C., Jennifer worked for both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Justice.  Jennifer began her career as a public defender with the Louisville Metro Public Defender and joined DPA as a Staff Attorney in the Cynthiana Trial office in 2007.  Jennifer became the Directing Attorney in Cynthiana and worked in that position for two years before becoming the Directing Attorney in the Bullitt County trial office in 2012.   Jennifer grew up on a vegetable farm in southern Ohio but is now proud to call Louisville home and lives there with her son, Brycen, and their two dogs, Peanut and Jello.


Charlie Thomas Appointed Richmond Directing Attorney

The Public Advocate is pleased to announce that Charlie Thomas has been appointed as the Directing Attorney of the Richmond Trial Office. Charlie joined DPA in 2010 as an attorney in the Hopkinsville Office. From there, he went to the Bowling Green Office, and he has been in Richmond for the last six years. Originally from Glasgow, Kentucky, Charlie obtained both his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Kentucky. In his free time, Charlie enjoys concerts, UK basketball, kayaking, and movies. 


Sara Zeurcher Appointed as CTB West Directing Attorney

The Public Advocate is pleased to announce that Sara Zeurcher has been appointed as Directing Attorney of the Capital Trial Branch West. Sara joined DPA in 2010 as an attorney in the Richmond office.  She spent eight great years there before joining CTB West in October of 2018.  Originally from Illinois, Sara completed her undergraduate work at Butler University before attending Wake Forest School of Law.  She then moved to Kentucky to pursue a career with DPA.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. 


Andrea Kendall Appointed as CTB East Directing Attorney

The Public Advcoate is pleased to announce that Andrea M. Kendall has been appointed as the Directing Attorney of the Capital Trial Branch East. Andrea joined DPA as a Public Defender Corps Fellow in the Boone Trial Office in 2011. She also worked in the Newport Trial Office before joining CTB-East in 2017. Andrea completed the Gideon’s Promise Core 101 training program in 2014 and returned in 2018 to mentor young lawyers. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Andrea graduated from Ohio State University and Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining DPA, Andrea and her husband Ray Ibarra worked as a public defenders in Montgomery County, Maryland and Santa Barbara County, California. Andrea’s time is spent foster parenting an energetic toddler. Previous hobbies included visiting National Parks, watching classic films, and playing board games.