Brian Wiggins, circuit judge for Muhlenberg and McLean counties, began his appointment as chief regional circuit Judge on Jan. 1, presiding over 20 counties and 10 judicial circuits in western Kentucky, known as the Purchase Region.

Wiggins was appointed by outgoing Kentucky Supreme Court Chief John Minton and replaced Rene Williams, who retired from the position after four years.

According to Wiggins, the chief regional judge position is a two-year term.

“Typically, a judge is reappointed until he or she leaves office or is otherwise unable to continue to serve as chief regional judge,” Wiggins said.

Prior to this appointment, Wiggins served as the vice chief regional circuit judge.

“I am tasked with assigning judges within the Purchase Region to hear cases and preside over court proceedings in circuits where there is a temporary vacancy or the regular sitting judge is disqualified from serving,” he said.

Wiggins said it is not unusual for a judge to step aside during a case.

“Perhaps the judge represented a party when they were a lawyer,” he said. “Those situations arrive routinely, and I get them a few times a week.”

Former Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Wiggins as circuit judge for the 45th Judicial Circuit, which includes Muhlenberg and McLean counties, when David Jernigan retired in 2009.

“I am still doing my regular duties as circuit judge in Muhlenberg and McLean, too,” he said.

In November, he was re-elected to another eight years in office. He served as district judge in Muhlenberg and McLean counties before becoming circuit judge.

Karah Wilson, 270-691-7315,, Twitter: @karahwilson19

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