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Nominees named for Kenton Family Court Judge vacancy: Acena Beck, Thomas Ruaf, and Carol Risk


The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced nominees to fill the vacancy in Kenton Family Court, opened when Dawn Gentry was removed from the bench.

Kenton makes up the 16th Judicial Circuit and the vacancy is in the circuit’s Division 5, Family Court. 

The three nominees for the Family Court judgeship are attorneys Acena Johnson Beck of Covington, Thomas Anthony Rauf of Edgewood and Carol Lavonn Risk of Fort Wright.

Beck has served as the executive director of the Children’s Law Center for nearly four years and was previously the center’s deputy director and, before that, its managing attorney. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she has been an adjunct professor of juvenile law since January 2020.

Acena Beck, Thomas Anthony Rauf, Carol Lavonn Risk

Rauf has his own private law practice with a focus that includes family law. He has been in private practice for nearly 11 years and previously served as in-house counsel for a business. He serves as a court-appointed attorney in Kenton County Family Court for juvenile dependency, neglect and abuse cases. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

Risk has her own private practice with a focus that includes family law and serves as a court-appointed attorney in Kenton County Family Court for juvenile dependency, neglect and abuse cases. She previously served as an assistant Kenton County attorney in the Child Support Office, where she established and enforced child support orders. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

The judicial seat became vacant when the Judicial Conduct Commission removed Judge Dawn M. Gentry from the bench in 2020.

Family Court is a division of Circuit Court and has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.



The Judicial Nominating Commission helps fill judicial vacancies by appointment when a vacancy occurs outside of the election cycle. The Kentucky Constitution established the JNC. Ky. Const. § 118; SCR 6.000, et seq. 



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One Comment

  1. Terri King Schoborg FOR FAMILY COURT JUDGE 2022
    I am sure these nominees are all qualified, however the most qualified candidate is the one who ran for the office the last election and received over 20 thousand votes and has extensive experience In Family Court issues and Family court law. June Geiman-Stephenson and I will be supporting her totally because of her knowledge and character and integrity.
    I am thrilled that she has decided to try again for Family Court Judge and we ask all Kenton County Citizens to give her your support in 2022.

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