Former Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth G. Clayton, of Rolla, has been appointed to fill the associate circuit judge position in Phelps County.
Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Clayton to the position, which was formerly held by Judge Bill Hickle, who won the Nov. 6 general election and was recently sworn in as the new 25th Judicial Circuit Judge.
Clayton served two full terms as the Phelps County prosecuting attorney from 1999 to 2006. He currently is a partner in the Rolla law firm of Clayton and Anderson and also has served as the acting prosecuting attorney for Pulaski County since May 2012.
Before becoming prosecuting attorney, he was an assistant public defender.
Clayton is a graduate of the University of Tulsa School of Law and of Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville.
“Ken Clayton has a great deal of experience in criminal and civil law, as both prosecutor and in private practice,” Nixon said. “I am pleased to appoint him to serve the people of Phelps County as their new associate circuit judge.”
Clayton was the preference of Phelps County Democratic Committee members, who met Dec. 11 to send their nomination to Nixon. The committee also submitted the name of attorney Kristopher D. Crews for consideration.
At the Democrats’ meeting, Clayton said he would like to emulate Judge Gregory Warren, who was recently appointed a new 25th Judicial Circuit Judge, which covers Phelps, Maries, Pulaski and Texas counties.
Clayton also said a role model is his father, retired Maries County Associate Circuit Judge John Clayton.
Clayton has been active since 1997 in the Rolla Lions Club. He also has served on the Red Cross board of directors and served as both vice president and president of the Phelps-Pulaski chapter. Clayton also coaches soccer.