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Kenton Family Court Judge Lisa Bushelman takes ‘temporary retirement’ for ‘medical reasons’

Staff Report

Kenton Family Court Judge Lisa Osborne Bushelman has been granted “temporary retirement” from her duties, effective today through September 1, for medical reasons.

The order for temporary leave “without affecting her pay status,” was signed by Kent Westberry as chairman of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.

Westberry is an “alternate” chairman on this matter, since Stephen D. Wolnitzek recused himself, as did Karen A. Thomas of Newport. Wolnitzek is an attorney with Wolnitzek, Rowekamp & DeMarcus and has been a member and chair of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission (formerly the Kentucky Judicial Retirement and Removal Commission) since 1996.

Lisa with daughters Maggie, identical twins Morgan and Mollie and son Mason. (Campaign photo)

Lisa with daughters Maggie, identical twins Morgan and Mollie and son Mason. (Campaign photo)

Wolnitzek explained that the commission does address misconduct issues but also has jurisdiction of physical and mental disability issues.

Any details on the nature of Judge Bushelman’s medical issues would be confidential, as would be any issues related to misconduct investigations.

Wolnitzek told the NKyTribune that all that would be public now is what it stated in the public record, and that is Bushelman is on “temporary retirement” until September 1. At that time, he said, a determination would be made as to whether she returns or her leave is extended or she is replaced.

Sources said she had cleared out her office.

Efforts to reach Judge Bushelman were unsuccessful. She was not in her office today; her assistant would say only that she has taken a “leave of absence.”

Judge Anne Delahanty, a judge in the 30th District Court in Jefferson County, filled in today in Bushelman’s office.

Sources say that retired Judge Mickey Foellger is likely to take over Bushelman’s court. Foellger was the first Family Court Judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit serving Campbell County and also served as an assistant Commonwealth Attorney. He has served as President of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and as President of the District Judges Association of Kentucky.

During Bushelman’s leave, it will fall to Kenton County Chief Regional Judge Greg Bartlett to find a fill-in or fill-ins for Bushelman’s court.

Wolnitzek said Bartlett would have access to a pool of about 21 retired judges who can fill in when vacancies occur.

Bushelman was elected district court judge for the 16th judicial circuit, i November 2006 and was assigned to the then-newly created Kentcky Family Court. She ran for re-election to the core in 2014, winning a eight-year term that expires on January 1, 2023. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from Chase College of Law.

Before being elected to the court, she was in private practice for 13 years.

Several friends and acquaintances expressed surprise about her leave.

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  1. James A says:

    I love you Judge Bushelman ! Hope you make a speedy and healthy recovery!! God bless you and your family! I owe you my life !!

  2. Wilma says:

    Your attitude regarding giving herion addicts visits with parents who’d abandoned them and claiming they’ve changed is bull. Your arrogance by over ruling a current open case in pendleton county proclaiming “YOU” are the queen of the forest and you trump another judge is childish, selfish and borderline narrsistic.
    Stay home, retire, move whatever but I don’t think you should be on the bench.

    I have a right to free speech.
    This was mine..
    Enough said.

    Granny in owen county

  3. Alicia says:

    Judge Bushelman helped me seek help for my drug addiction. She made sure I took the steps needed to stay sober and get my children back. She was hard on me when I was doing wrong. I think she was a fair judge. As long as your doing what should be done. I’ll say a prayer for you and your family. Thank you judge Bushelman. You helped me save my life!!!! God bless..

  4. Charity Rogers says:

    This judge is ridiculous.

  5. Kim says:

    Lisa Bushelman has hurt so many defenseless children with her arrogant rulings . One of the several I have been involved with had Bushelman making rulings that legally she could not make. Weeks later she came back and apologized but the damage and hurt to the children was done. A judge who was out of control . Why did it take so long to gee her off the bench? Our social service system isn’t great, but people like Bushelman do far greater damage.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Foellger isn’t any better, in fact, he is attacking my 1st amendment rights, telling me because of my religion & religious beliefs, “if your not going to change your religious beliefs you better move out of Kenton county where I have jurisdiction”.

  7. Sharon simpson says:

    Ive never had a problem with her or foellgers both have been excellent with me…

  8. Darlene says:

    They need to stop covering for her wrong doings ! She no longer has say over peoples lives. We need to putbtge truth out there

  9. Wilma says:

    Yay, she’s finished and won’t be returning……

  10. Family Court lawyer says:

    I am a lawyer and have had several cases in front of her. She gives both parties a chance to say what they want and then tailors her ruling to each family and the best interest of the children involved. She respects litigants and attorneys. If people don’t have problems, they aren’t in family court. Yes, there are some litigants who don’t get what they want. If your lives are troubled and you can’t work out your differences, the constitution puts that decision in the hands of a judge. Every person is self made, but only the successful will admit it. Some of the posters here sound like their lives go from one crisis to another, and apparently the judge is to blame.

  11. Rebecca says:

    The sad fact is, many families have become subjected to the horrors of the Kenton County Court system. It’s all corrupt. They do not care about our children’s well being. It’s obvious the moment you walk into the court room what it’s really all about. It’s who has the better lawyer and the most friends and connections. You have to see who the judges friends are, what practice they came from prior to being a judge, etc they play favorites. Bushelmans favorite was John Berger. If you had him, you won and the other party didn’t get a word in… why..he hosted her re-election party and they were great pals!

    The judges do think they are God, and they will find out sooner or later every wrong they have done. They will have to answer for their wrong whether in this life or the next.

  12. Tammy says:

    I love how the “Family Court Attorney” is still kissing her ass! Not a single criminal charge has been lodged against me, yet I haven’t seen my children in over two years even though the goal is still REUNIFICATION!!! This is what happens when you don’t bow down to those in charge, they destroy your life using “the best interest” of your children!!! Please explain why my un-medicated honor roll children are now HEAVILY medicated and failing is in their best interest!!!!

  13. Tammy says:

    Oh and I could almost bet “Family Court Lawyer” is Michael Hummel…just saying sound a lot like his BS!

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