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Office of the Public Advocate


Edward C. Monahan.jpgEdward C. Monahan began as a public defender in 1976. He was appointed Kentucky Public Advocate by the Governor September 1, 2008 and was reappointed in September 2012. He led the development of the nationally recognized legal education program. Ed is a charter board member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is past president of KACDL, past chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s criminal law section, was a member of the KBA Ethics Committee (2000-2007; 2008-2011). He is past chair of the American Council of Chief Defenders, chief defenders from across the nation dedicated to securing a fair justice system and ensuring high quality legal representation for poor people who face loss of life, freedom or family. He was co-counsel in Gall v. Parker, 231 F.3d 265 (6th Cir. 2000) and Kordenbrock v. Scroggy, 919 F.2d 1091 (6th Cir. 1990) (en banc) both granting federal habeas relief to clients sentenced to death. Monahan was counsel in Binion v. Commonwealth, 891 S.W.2d 383 (Ky. 1995) where the Kentucky Supreme Court recognized the need for defense experts.



Damon Preston - color.jpgDamon Preston is the Deputy Public Advocate for DPA.  After graduating from Transylvania University and Harvard Law School, Damon began his legal career in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society in New York City.  He returned to Kentucky in 1997 and has been with DPA ever since.  First a staff attorney in the Richmond trial office, Damon led the Paducah and then Cynthiana offices as Directing Attorney.  Starting in 2004, he managed DPA’s Appeals Branch befor​e joining DPA’s Leadership Team as Trial Division Director in 2007.  Early in 2011, he was appointed Deputy.  In addition to work through DPA, Damon serves on the board of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the current chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association.  In spare time, he coaches his daughters Abbie and Marissa in softball with his wife Amy.



Brian Scott West - color.jpg
B. Scott West is currently DPA’s General Counsel; prior to that, Scott was Bluegrass Regional Manager in the Richmond Field Office, Directing Attorney for Murray Field Office, and a staff attorney in the Hazard Field Office.  A graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School (1988), and Vanderbilt University (1985), Scott practiced for ten years at Texaco Inc., in Houston, Texas, before joining DPA in 1999.  He is married to Beverley and father to Hannah.  They live in Richmond.