Fayette County

Bevin appoints Messer, Reynolds as new Fayette County judges

Gov. Matt Bevin appointed two new judges Tuesday to serve in Fayette County.

Elizabeth Green Messer of Lexington, who works in the Fayette County Attorney’s Office, was appointed Family Court judge for Division 1 of Fayette Circuit Court, the position previously held by Judge Tim Philpot.

John Edward Reynolds of Lexington, an attorney in private practice in Nicholasville, was appointed circuit judge for Division 3 in Fayette Circuit Court, the post previously held by Judge James Ishmael Jr.

Ishmael and Philpot both announced late last year that they planned to retire at the end of the year.

Messer and Reynolds will serve until their positions are filled by vote in the November elections.

Eileen M. O’Brien and Gregory A. Napier have filed with the Fayette County clerk’s office to run for Division 1 family court judge.

Lucy Ferguson VanMeter and Todd S. Page have filed to run for circuit judge for Division 3.

Messer has worked for the county attorney’s office for 10 years, eight of which have been spent as the lead prosecutor for the juvenile division. She handled prosecution of child dependency, neglect and abuse, and juvenile criminal cases.

The University of Kentucky College of Law graduate said in a written statement that she was honored and appreciative of the opportunity to serve.

“Having dedicated my career to protecting children and serving families as a prosecutor, this is an opportunity to make an even greater impact on the community I love,” she said in the statement. “As judge, I will continue to serve Fayette County with a commitment to justice, integrity and compassion.”

Reynolds, also a graduate of UK’s law school, has spent the past 18 years handling personal injury, civil litigation, criminal defense, family law, probate and personal injury cases.

“Governor Bevin’s appointment to the Fayette circuit bench is accepted with much gratitude and resolve for the opportunity to serve Fayette County,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I am thankful to both the judicial nominating committee and to the governor’s staff for their consideration and service to our community.”