Today Governor Laura Kelly appointed Stacey Donovan to the district court vacancy in Douglas County created by the December 31 retirement of Judge Peggy Carr Kittel.

“Stacey is a talented and accomplished public servant with a reputation of integrity and hard work,” Kelly said. “Her experience helping Kansans deal with legal problems and working to improve our criminal justice system makes her a valuable addition to the Douglas County bench.”

Stacey Donovan is the Chief Public Defender for the 3rd Judicial District, where she represents clients in criminal cases in addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Public Defender’s office. Donovan is also active in the community, as a member of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Topeka Bar Association, the Lawrence High School PTO, the Kansas Sentencing Commission and the Kansas Task Force on Attorney Well-Being. She graduated from Simmons College in 1992 and from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1997, where she has been an adjunct professor since 2008.

“I’m thankful that the nominating commission and Governor Kelly have given me the chance to serve on the district court,” Donovan said. “It has been my distinct privilege to represent people from all walks of life. I’ve seen defendants struggle to understand their rights and navigate our criminal justice system. I’m eager to get to work serving in my new role, and no matter the case—big or small, civil or criminal—I will work to make sure that everyone in my courtroom has equal access to justice and a fair hearing under the law.”

Judges in Douglas 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 two other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Carl Folsom III (an Assistant Federal Public Defender), and Shon Qualseth (an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Trial Counsel).