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Supreme Court suspends former Kenton Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry from practice of law

By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune editor

Dawn Michelle Gentry has agreed to a four-year suspension from the practice of law, as has the Kentucky Bar Association. The opinion signed by Supreme Court Justice John Minton was released today.

Dawn Gentry (file photo)

Gentry, who was removed from her Kenton County Family Court judgeship after a lengthy hearing by the Judicial Conduct Commission, has also now been removed for four years from the practice of law.

She held the Family Court judgeship for nearly five years. She was sanctioned for providing false timesheets for several court employees, including Stephen Penrose with whom she had an ongoing romantic relationship, coercing donations to her election campaign, using court employees for campaign activities, filing an unwarranted bar complaint against an attorney who cooperated with the Judicial Conduct Committee’s investigation, and committing perjury.

In the widely publicized case, Gentry was dubbed the “frat house judge” by national media for conduct in her judge quarters in the Kenton County courthouse.

According to the court document, Gentry has expressed “deep remorse” and admits to wrongdoing. She said she has addressed her alcohol use disorder and has entered a treatment program.

The court has ordered that Gentry notify her clients of her inability to represent them and urge retaining new counsel, and not allow her name to be used in any manner by any law firm. The office she had intended to open in Newport has been vacant since late last year.

Supreme Court Justice Debra Hembree Lambert, who serves the 3rd Supreme Court District in Southcentral Kentucky, dissented, saying Gentry’s misconduct did not warrant a four-year suspension. Robert B. Conley, a Supreme Court Judge from Boyd County, and Justice Laurance B. VanMeter of the 5th Appellate District in Central Kentucky concurred with Lambert.

See the Supreme Court’s ruling here.

Read the NKyTribune’s stories about Dawn Gentry here.

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  1. Sandy says:

    I’d say she has been punished enough. Now go after the real Kenton County Family Court corrupt judge!

  2. Chris says:

    Judge Gentry was a fair and human Judge. Being a judge in this division is hard sone of the cases being dealt with our heart wrenching and some so foul it’s hard to even bring up. We were a part of This Judges docket and we felt she was professional and respectful in the courtroom each time we appeared. Mistakes that were made are very human. I hope she will find her path and can move on with this situation in her life as so many of us have experienced. Prayers to you and your family.

  3. Robert Lee says:

    “Mistakes that were made are very human.” I am sure Judge Gentry has positive aspects, but she’s the one that made the mistakes, and not every “human” should be a judge. Hopefully she will never be a judge again.

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