Douglas County prosecutor selected to replace retired judge
On July 19, 2019, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly appointed Mark A. Simpson, a Douglas County prosecutor, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin.
Simpson, of Lawrence, is a senior assistant district attorney in Douglas County, where he has been a prosecutor for the last 11 years, according to a news release from Kelly’s office.
In Douglas County, Simpson has handled murder, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, drug and traffic cases, and he was instrumental in the creation of the Douglas County Behavioral Health Court, which has enabled many criminal defendants to avoid prosecution and receive mental health treatment instead of being incarcerated.
Simpson grew up in Stillwater, Okla., graduated from the University of Kansas in 2003, and earned his law degree from the University of Kansas in 2008. Before law school, Simpson worked as a staffer at the Kansas Democratic Party and managed former Attorney General Paul Morrison’s 2006 campaign, according to the release.
Judges in Douglas County are appointed by the governor and selected from among nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years. The position to which Simpson is being appointed will be subject to a retention election in 2020