Mike O’Connell serves as Jefferson County Attorney, striving to bring integrity and fairness to the practice of law in both the criminal courts and civil matters that face this community. The Jefferson County Attorney’s office serves as the prosecutor in all misdemeanor cases in Jefferson District Court, acts as legal representative for all branches of Metro Government and Metro Council, and handles child support cases for the county.
First appointed in 2008, O’Connell was elected to the office of County Attorney in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Prior to becoming county attorney, Mike served as both a District and Circuit Court judge before returning to private practice. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors for the Kentucky Bar Association and as a member of the association’s ethics committee.
Since becoming County Attorney, Mike has pushed for practices that hold everyone in the system to a high level of accountability and a level playing field within the system. Under his leadership, the office continues to be on the forefront of prosecutions in the areas of drunk driving and domestic violence – operating specialty units in those areas and a 24-hour Domestic Violence Intake Center. Our office was a critical partner in starting Kentucky’s first Veteran’s Treatment Court, which helps veterans who face legal trouble get their lives back on track. Mike continues to take an active role in looking for ways to expand restorative justice efforts, both for juveniles and adults. And he remains involved in efforts in addressing the role addiction plays in our legal system, including trying to expand the use of Casey’s Law in Jefferson County.
In addition to his work in the legal community, Mike has served in several civic organizations as well. He has been the chair of the Advisory Board of Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged. He serves as president of the Kentucky Children’s Home Corporation. From 2003-2008, he served on the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. He serves as an ex-officio member of the Restorative Justice Louisville board and is also a board member of the Louisville Bar Association.
Mike received his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1974 and a B.A. from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1971. He is a graduate of St. Xavier High School.