Fayette County

John S. Roberts, Fayette County judge-executive, dies

John S. Roberts
John S. Roberts

Fayette County Judge-Executive John S. Roberts, an attorney and former Lexington police sergeant, died Friday.

Roberts, 70, retired from the Lexington Police Department in 1994, after 25 years of service.

He took office as judge-executive in 2015. Roberts was battling cancer at the time of his death.

“John Roberts was an outstanding citizen who served our city as a police officer and in public office. He will be missed,” Mayor Jim Gray said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard issued a statement saying that Roberts was “a leader who took pride in his work, and that commitment to service was marked throughout his life.”

Roberts, a Republican, ran for judge-executive against Alayne White in 2014 on a platform aimed at abolishing what he saw as an unnecessary position.

Because of the merged government in Fayette County, the judge-executive has little power. It is a constitutional office and can be abolished only by an act of the state legislature.

Roberts was a lifelong member of Immanuel Baptist Church and was married to Beth Roberts.

He was a graduate of Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky and was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John Roberts Jr. and Thomas Scott Roberts.

Milward Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.