FRANKFORT, Ky., July 31, 2009 – A Kentucky native with experience as a practicing attorney who has held positions with the Executive and Judicial branches of state government has been named to head the administrative arm of the state court system. Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. today appointed Laurie K. Dudgeon as director of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts.
Ms. Dudgeon will be responsible for the daily operations of the AOC, the agency that provides operational support for 3,800 court system employees, including the elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks.
Ms. Dudgeon was named deputy director of the AOC in July 2007 and has served in the capacity of director since former Director Jason M. Nemes left the post April 3 to join the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl. She has overseen the daily operations of the court system, assisted in administering the $300 million Judicial Branch budget, drafted and worked for passage of legislation affecting the courts, and worked with officials at the county and state levels.
Ms. Dudgeon came to the AOC after serving as executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, which coordinates Kentucky's response and long-range planning regarding substance abuse. She assumed that position by gubernatorial appointment in 2006. Her experience with state government began in 2005 when she joined the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as a staff attorney. Prior to her work with the Justice Cabinet, she spent nine years in private practice where she concentrated on constitutional law, employment law, administrative law, and commercial and residential real estate law. During that time she practiced with Hazelrigg & Cox of Frankfort, Ky., Walther, Roark, Gay & Todd of Lexington, Ky., and Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough of Columbia, S.C.
She graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Kentucky in 1991 and a juris doctor from the UK College of Law in 1994.
In 2007, Ms. Dudgeon received the Secretary’s Award for Superior Performance from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Commissioner’s Second Chance Team Award from the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Service Award Recognition for Drug Enforcement Efforts in the Commonwealth from the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association.
Ms. Dudgeon currently serves on the Governor’s Recovery Kentucky Task Force and has been actively involved with Hospice of the Bluegrass, the American Cancer Society and New Horizons Child Development Center. She resides in Frankfort with her two children, Kathleen, 10, and Tate, 7.