The new face is that of Josh Stratemeyer, whom Massac County Clerk John Taylor swore in as the newest Massac County Assistant State’s Attorney on Aug. 27.
While Stratemeyer is new to the position, he does know his way around the office, as he served an internship there.
Stratemeyer was born and raised in Massac County and graduated from Massac County High School in 1997. Following high school, he went on the former Paducah Community College for two years before attending Murray State University, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in finance.
In 2003, Stratemeyer began law school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he graduated in 2006. In July 2006 he passed the Illinois Bar Exam and was sworn in November 2006. During his summers while in law school, he clerked at Kruger, Henry & Hunter, where he ended up working after graduating.
While employed at Kruger, Henry & Hunter, Stratemeyer’s focus was on criminal law, real estate and municipal law, in addition to trying cases involving general civil matters.
“They are a good group of attorneys, and it was not an easy decision,” said Stratemeyer.
However, “change is good sometimes,” said Stratemeyer, who is married to Molly Gentry. They have three children, Cooper, 6; Chase, a kindergartener at Franklin; and Chaney, 1.
The opportunity to become the assistant state’s attorney came from the retirement of Tim Fornes, whose last day was Aug. 30.
According to State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst, the week of Aug. 26 was one of transition, as Fornes updated Stratemeyer on the cases that he was working on.
Windhorst said Fornes had approached him earlier this year and indicated he would be retiring at some point. It was then that Windhorst began thinking about potential assistants and had Stratemeyer in mind.
In late July, Fornes told Windhorst he would be retiring at the end of August, so about a month ago, Windhorst approached Stratemeyer about the position as assistant state’s attorney.
Windhorst handles the felony cases and the county’s civil matters. Stratemeyer’s primary focus will be handling the misdemeanor and juvenile cases, in addition to prosecuting traffic-related cases. He said there might be some overlapping of cases, in situations where there could be a conflict of interest for Windhorst.
Windhorst has gone over the cases to ascertain which Stratemeyer may have a conflict with during his time as an attorney with Kruger, Henry & Hunter.
“I’m excited to have Josh come on board. I think he’ll be a great addition to the office and will serve Massac County well,” said Windhorst.
Fornes’ retirement comes after nearly 38 years practicing law. Fornes served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star.
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