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Crigler appointed Boone County Clerk to fill position vacated by Kenny Brown’s death; election in Nov. 

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Judge/Executive Gary Moore has appointed Justin Crigler as County Clerk to fill the vacancy resulting from the death of former County Clerk Kenny Brown.


Crigler took the oath of office in a ceremony at the Boone County Clerk’s office Tuesday afternoon.

Crigler said county clerk is the only elected office he ever wanted to hold.

“I said last night at the (Boone County Republican Party) meeting, some kids wanted to be firefighters or policemen, I wanted to be county clerk,” Crigler said. “That’s what I always wanted to be, that’s what I aspired to be and it’s the reason I ran the first time. It’s the reason I’m humbled to be the county clerk now.”

Crigler ran against Brown in the 2010 Republican primary and was narrowly defeated, but he is no stranger to the office.

“I’ve been working for the county attorney privately, in this building, pretty much every day for 15 to 20 years, Crigler said. “So, I know them all as friends and I still think I can be a good boss.”

Crigler obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 1999 and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Warner University.

His professional experience includes several roles that make him familiar with the County Clerk’s office. He has served as the Senior Title Examiner for Court Street USA, Director of Acquisitions at North American Tax Solutions, and Tax Administrator for the Boone County Attorney’s office.

Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore, left, delivers the oath of office to new County Clerk Justin Crigler Tuesday. Crigler’s father, former Boone County Attorney Larry Crigler, is at right. Crigler fills the vacancy created by the death of Kenny Brown. (photos by Mark Hansel).

“With Justin’s deep understanding and vast experience of the Clerk’s office, Boone County will be served well with him as County Clerk,” said Moore. “After speaking with many qualified individuals and the County Clerk staff, I knew Justin was the right selection.”

Brown’s staff held him in high regard and many of them spoke on Crigler’s behalf at the Party meeting Monday night, where he was nominated to fill the post.

Dawn Spritzky, who works in the Clerk’s office and assumed many of Brown’s duties when he fell ill last year, said it was important to let party leaders know how the staff feels about Crigler.

“I think Justin will be an asset to this office,” Spritzky said. “He knows he’s got a family here that really cares for him too, and we know he’ll do good.”

Crigler said the staff showing its support is very important.

“Them showing up last night and being so kind to me, it means the world to me,” Crigler said. “I think they are diligent workers and very good people, so I’m honored to be their boss.”

Boone County Attorney Robert Neace, who has known Crigler for 20 years, said he was the right choice.

“He has always aspired for this position, it’s what he’s always wanted to do,” Neace said. “His family has a long history in public service and Justin has wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather. He’s a good person and I’m just as happy as I can be for him.”

Crigler’s father, Larry Crigler, and grandfather, John Crigler, both previously served as Boone County Attorney.

Boone County employees, including members of the County Clerk’s office staff, watch as Justin Crigler is sworn in. Several Clerk’s office employees voiced support for Crigler to fill the position at a Republican Party meeting Monday night, after the untimely death of Kenny Brown .

Larry Crigler was on hand Tuesday and held the Bible as his son was sworn in.

“I think he’ll do great job and of course I’m very proud of him,” he said.

State Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, said the Crigler family name is well known throughout the county.

“We congratulate Justin, he’ll make a fine county clerk,” Schickel said. “It’s great to see his dad here, and Justin will continue that legacy of public service.”

Brown suffered a heart attack in November on election night, after being chosen by voters to his third term in office. He never fully recovered and died on March 8,  as a result of a history of medical problems. He was 53.  

“He was a young guy and he enjoyed life, so when he’s not there, you feel it,” Neace said. “Like everybody that knew Kenny, I felt like I was a good friend. It’s terrible and I miss him.” 

Moore talked about the change Brown made in the office during his tenure, increasing the focus on customer service.

“We do this with heavy hearts in remembering Kenny, and how hard he worked to improve this office,” Moore said. “Justin very efficiently last night talked about how he wants to continue what Kenny started, but build on that and take it even higher.”

The appointment of Crigler became effective immediately and he will serve until a successor is elected to serve out the remaining term of office.

A Special Election will take place in conjunction with the General Election on November 5. Each political party will nominate a candidate for the Special Election and the winner of that race will serve the remainder of the term ending January 9, 2023. Crigler is already his political party’s nominee and he will be on the ballot this fall.

Crigler and his family reside Hebron.

Contact Mark Hansel at news@nkytrib.com

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