FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky has new leadership in the state office that offers legal representation to the poor.

Gov. Matt Bevin has named Damon Preston as the state’s Public Advocate, the head of the Department of Public Advocacy.

Preston, a native of Harrodsburg, is taking over after 20 years of working at different levels of the department. Since joining the office in 1997, he has worked as a staff attorney, director of trial offices and manager of the department’s appeals branch. He was appointed deputy public advocate in 2011.

Each year, the office handles more than 140,000 trial and post-trial cases statewide.

Preston will replace outgoing Public Advocate Ed Monahan, who worked in the department for 40 years. Preston’s appointment is effective Sept. 16.

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