Commission Members and Staff

 Judge Roger L. Crittenden (Ret.), Chairman Judge Crittenden .jpg

After three years of service in the U.S. Army including a tour in Vietnam, Judge Crittenden graduated with the Class of 1975 from the University of Kentucky, College of Law, and launched his career in public service at the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education.  In 1980, he was elected as Franklin County District Court Judge where he served for 12 years before being elected as Franklin County Circuit Court Judge in 1992.  He retired in 2006 and is Senior Judge of the Franklin Circuit Court.  Committed to education, Judge Crittenden has served as chair of the Circuit Judges Association Education Committee and is a former board chair of PUSH Infant Pre-School.  

Judge Crittenden was appointed to the Commission by Governor Andy Beshear on May 27, 2020, to serve a three-year term.  His term expires May 27, 2023.  He was elected as Chairman of the Commission on July 14, 2020.​ 

 Sen. David Karem 3 JPG.JPG

Sen. David Karem (Ret.), Vice Chair

Sen. David Karem of Louisville has been a champion of public education for more than 40 years while serving in the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Board of Education. Karem served two terms on the Kentucky Board of Education from 2009 to 2016 and as chairman from 2010 to 2013. The David Karem Award, later renamed the Karem Award for Excellence in Education Policy, was established in 2017 by the Kentucky Board of Education in his honor to recognize state policymakers, education leaders or citizens who have made notable, state-level contributions to the improvement of Kentucky's public education system. The award was first presented in 2017.

Karem served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1972 to 1974. He returned to the legislature two years later, this time representing the 35th District in the Kentucky Senate from 1976 to 2004. He was the Senate's majority floor leader from 1993 to 1999, and he was on the education committees in the House and Senate for 32 and a half of his 33 years in public office. During his time in the legislature, Karem was a driving force behind the passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990 and the Postsecondary Education Reform Act in 1997 and led the effort for a 4% school tax levy by districts.

Karem served for 33 years as president of Louisville's Waterfront Development Corporation, which has worked to develop and maintain the city's Waterfront Park. He began a one-year term as director emeritus upon his retirement in July 2019. He also was a member of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation's board of directors from 2006 to 2018.

Karem holds a bachelor's degree in Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, and Art and a doctorate in law from the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of St. Xavier High School in Louisville.

Governor Andy Beshear appointed Karem to the Commission on May 27, 2020 to a four-year term, which expires May 27, 2024. Karem was elected Vice Chair of the Commission July 14, 2020.

 

​Crit Luallen, MemberCrit Luallen.jpg

Former Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen is known as one of Kentucky’s most experienced and respected public leaders, after serving with seven Governors and being elected twice to statewide office. In 2019, the University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and Administration acknowledged her as a Trailblazer in Public Policy. Governor Steve Beshear appointed Luallen as Kentucky’s 56th Lieutenant Governor in 2014.  As Lt. Governor, she chaired KyHealthNow, an initiative to develop strategies and track progress toward a healthier Kentucky.

 

Luallen was elected the state’s Auditor of Public Accounts in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. Prior to that, she served nearly seven years as Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, the highest appointed position in Kentucky state government. Previous appointments include State Budget Director, Secretary of the Finance Cabinet, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, and Commissioner of the Department of the Arts.  As Commissioner of the Arts, Luallen helped found the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts. She also served as Senior Vice President and then President of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership, a regional economic development agency. In 2009, she was named Public Official of the Year by the Washington, D.C.-based magazine Governing for her positive impact on government in Kentucky.

 

Luallen is a native of Frankfort, a graduate of Centre College, where she serves on the Board of Trustees, and is married to Lynn Luallen.
 

Governor Andy Beshear appointed Luallen to the Commission on May 27, 2020 to a four-year term, which expires May 27, 2024.

 

 Justice Venters.jpg

Justice Daniel J. Venters (Ret.), Member
 

Justice Daniel J. Venters retired from the Supreme Court of Kentucky in January 2019, having served ten and a half years on the Court and authoring nearly 200 published opinions and hundreds of unpublished opinions.  His judicial career spanned more than 35 years on the trial and appellate court benches of Kentucky.

Justice Venters entered the practice of law in 1975 in Somerset, Kentucky, where he served as a part-time Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney under then-Commonwealth’s Attorney, now Congressman Hal Rogers.  He practiced with the Somerset law firm of Rogers & Venters until January of 1979, when he became a District Court Judge for Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties. Elected to the circuit court bench in 1983, Justice Venters served as Chief Circuit Court Judge for 28th Judicial Circuit (Pulaski, Rockcastle, and Lincoln Counties) from January 1984 until June 2003, when he returned to the practice of law in Somerset. 

Justice Venters is a 1975 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and a 1972 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he majored in economics.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the U.S. District Courts for Eastern and Western Kentucky.  He has served as a member of Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners, a member of the Kentucky Bar Association Board of Governors, a trustee of the Judicial Form Retirement System, and a member of the AppalReD Legal Aid Board of Directors.

Justice Venters was born in 1950 in Charleston, West Virginia.  He is married to Circuit Court/Family Judge, Jane Adams Venters.  The Venters’ have five children and thirteen grandchildren.

Governor Andy Beshear appointed Justice Venters to the Commission on June 15, 2020 to a two-year term.  He was appointed under the requirements of Executive Order 2020-423 from a list of nominees submitted by the Attorney General.  Justice Venter's term will expire May 27, 2022.

David Samford, Member​ David Samford.jpg


David S. Samford is an attorney with the law firm Goss Samford, PLLC in Lexington, Kentucky.  He previously served as a Special Advisor to Governor Ernie Fletcher; Executive Director of the Office of Legal Services within the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; General Counsel, Senior Policy Advisor and Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Public Service Commission; and as a Special Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.  David has previously been appointed to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on two prior occasions and served as a Director of the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.  David also served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and on the Leadership Staff of the Kentucky State Senate.  

Mr. Samford was appointed to the Commission by Governor Andy Beshear on June 23, 2020 to a one-year term upon the recommendation of State Auditor of Public Accounts, Mike Harmon.  His term expires May 27, 2021.

                                                                                        
Staff

Executive Director Kathryn H. Gabhart
General Counsel
Assistant General Counsel
Michael W. Board​
Meena Mohanty
Executive Assistant Debbie Briscoe
Lobbyist Coordinator
Paralegal
Staff Assistant
Investigator
Investigator
Law Clerk
Jenny May
Alison Chavies
VACANT
Bella Wells
VACANT
Hanna Stettner





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