They say timing is everything. Accepting the position of Consumer Protection Chief for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in December 2019, only months before the start of a global pandemic, was not the timing I had in mind, but I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve my fellow Kentuckians and support Attorney General Cameron in his role as the watchdog for consumers in our state.
Like many of you, the pandemic forced us to be innovative and tackle the unexpected. Quickly shifting a largely new Consumer Protection team to a remote working environment in the very early days of a new administration, learning to embrace virtual meetings and court, while also trying to ensure that the operations of the office continued without interruption are challenges that many, if not all, of us have faced on some level during the last 19 months.
While I have spoken with many of you virtually or by phone, I regret that circumstances surrounding the pandemic have prevented most of us from meeting in person. Now that in-person meetings are resuming, I look forward to remedying that issue.
I am a Kentucky native, and it has been a privilege to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth in various capacities over the past five years. However, my current role is not one I had envisioned early in my career. Like many, I had a circuitous route to the Attorney General’s Office. After graduating from Asbury College, I served in the United States Army for several years. Upon leaving active duty, I returned to the Commonwealth and attended the University of Kentucky College of Law. I then entered the private sector as a civil litigator, where my practice focused primarily on cases related to mass tort, product liability, healthcare, insurance, and contract law. Little did I know then that my early career experience defending clients was preparing me for the role I hold today. Defending clients in cases involving pharmaceuticals, asbestos, and other consumer products has given me a competitive edge in my role enforcing Kentucky’s consumer protection laws.
After 19 years in private practice, a friend convinced me that I should give public service a try, and I accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Office of Employee Relations within the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet. In this role, I provided budgetary and regulatory compliance oversight for numerous agency programs, including the Commonwealth’s largest Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund and Return to Work Program. Later, I had the opportunity to serve as General Counsel for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, where I served until accepting my current position with the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection.
As I approach nearly two years of serving as Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Chief, I can truly say that this has been one of the most rewarding periods of my career. The challenges our office has faced during the pandemic have created greater opportunities to assist and protect the citizens we serve during a time when they needed it most. While I am honored to do my part in protecting consumers, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the team working with me in our office. The staff and attorneys of our Office of Consumer Protection and my colleagues throughout the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General have been an invaluable and supportive team, and I am grateful to work alongside them.
Likewise, I am thankful to the attorney general community for the assistance and insight you have provided to my team and me. Your assistance aided our administration in its earliest days and armed us with the tools necessary to hit the ground running. Working together on behalf of the constituents we serve is one of the most refreshing aspects of this job, and I look forward to continuing to partner with you in the days ahead.
Other articles in this edition include:
- Tackling Money Mules
- Attorney General Consumer Protection News: October 2021
- Federal Consumer Protection News: October 2021