Above, Whitley District Judge Fred White issues the oath of office to newly appointed Whitley County Attorney Don Moses, left in front, and Assistant County Attorney Larry Conley Tuesday morning.
A little more than one week after Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Whitley County Attorney Paul Winchester as circuit judge, an interim county attorney has been named.
Tuesday morning, Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. appointed Don Moses as interim county attorney.
"Mr. Moses brings nearly 40 years of legal experience to this office. He has been fully vetted through this process. I think he will make a professional, accessible county attorney, who will serve this county well," White said.
Moses will serve until the results of next year’s special election results are certified. Moses said he plans to run for county attorney next year.
"I see this as an opportunity to serve the people, not some of the people, but all the people of Whitley County. I will be fair and accessible to all of them," he added.
White said that Moses was one of five or six people, who approached him with interest in the position. Moses and Bob
Hammons, a former county attorney and assistant county attorney under Winchester, were the only two with experience working in the county attorney’s office.
"Two of them seemed to be more experienced members of the bar, and had direct experience in the county attorney’s office," White said. "One of which had experience as being a judge as well. One of those two has a conflict of interest to represent Whitley County."
Hammons also serves as city attorney in Corbin, and is the brother-in-law of Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney.
"There have been some issues over the past few weeks with the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter funding," White said. "There may be some other issues that come up in the future. He can’t represent the city and the county at the same time. Don is the most qualified candidate, who does not have a conflict of interest."
Hammons met with White behind closed doors Tuesday morning prior to White making the appointment.
Moses, 68, and Larry Conley, who will serve as assistant county attorney, were sworn in by District Judge Fred White about 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Moses, a Whitley County native, was raised in Whitley County. He graduated Pleasant View High School in 1961.
After high school, Moses moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he attended Case-Western Reserve University.
"Like a lot of people, there wasn’t sufficient economic activity, nor were there educational institutions around here so I moved to Cleveland," Moses said. "I worked and went to Case-Western Reserve University where I received a bachelor’s of business administration degree in 1967."
Moses became a licensed certified public accountant in 1969. He moved to Atlanta and worked while he went to Emory University where he received his law degree. He has been a practicing attorney since 1972.
"Upon completion of that, I came back here to raise my kids in the mountains where I had grown up," Moses said.
Moses is married and has three adult children, two of whom work for the Kentucky State Police.
Moses served as an assistant county attorney for one year after Emby McKeehan was elected to the position in the late 1990s.
"I took over the office and ran the criminal and delinquent tax collection of it," he said.
Moses also served as an interim general sessions judge in Campbell County, Tenn., when there was vacancy.
"We were waiting for an individual to reach his 30th birthday so he could meet the constitutional requirements for the position. I served for a period of time in that position," he said.
Moses said that general sessions court in Tennessee and district court in Kentucky are very similar except that there is no six-member jury in general sessions court.
"Otherwise, they very closely parallel each other," Moses said.
Moses also served as Jellico City Sessions Judge.
"Then we decided that we wanted to come back to Kentucky so we bought a house on Beck’s Creek Road in April of 2008, and have lived there since," Moses said. "I have enjoyed it except in winter time when the driveway gets a little slick."