Today Governor Laura Kelly appointed Penny R. Moylan to the district court vacancy created by the retirement of former Judge Franklin Theis.

“Penny is an accomplished attorney with a wide array of experience throughout her legal career, and I am confident she will serve the Third District well,” Kelly said. “Penny’s experience in civil practice and as a research attorney will help her from the moment she takes her oath. Penny’s commitment to the legal profession, to public service, and the Shawnee County community has prepared her to undertake the solemn duties and responsibilities of a district court judge.”

Moylan is a Deputy Disciplinary Administrator for the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator’s Office, where she investigates and prosecutes ethical complaints against Kansas-licensed attorneys. Her prior experience includes time as a Senior Research Attorney with the Kansas Supreme Court, for retired Justice Johnson and over a decade of experience in civil and criminal litigation. Moylan is also active in the community, as a founding member of the Kansas State Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, serving on the board of directors for the Topeka Rescue Mission, and volunteer efforts with Running Free and Meals on Wheels. Moylan graduated from Towson State University in 1990 and from Washburn University School of Law in 1995.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve my community as a district judge,” Moylan said. “I’m grateful to Governor Kelly for trusting me to undertake this important role. The district court is where the law meets real life, and every time I enter my courtroom I will remember that I am dealing with real people who deserve to be heard. To follow in Judge Theis’s footsteps is a special, humbling honor. I’m eager to get to work and do my best for Shawnee County.”

Judges in Shawnee County are appointed by the governor and selected from among nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years. The three other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Lori Dougherty-Bichsel (chief judge, Topeka Municipal Court), Steven Roth (administrative law judge, Kansas Department of Labor), and Kelly Trussell (private practice, Sloan, Eisenbarth, Glassman, McEntire & Jarboe).