County Attorney’s Office Mourns Loss of Julie Hardesty, Longtime First Assistant

March 21, 2019


The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office mourns the loss of Julie Lott Hardesty, our longtime First Assistant. Julie was first sworn as an Assistant County Attorney in 1988 and became First Assistant in 2001 under then Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze. She died Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the age of 60. Below is a statement from Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell.


“Early yesterday morning, Kentucky lost a brilliant lawyer and many of us have lost a cherished friend.

“Julie Lott Hardesty, our first among equals, died peacefully while surrounded by her three children whom she adored. I am so sorry for them and for us all. My life, as I know so many of yours, is better for having the privilege of working alongside and learning from her.

“Some of Julie’s most important teachings came during these last two years and her battle with Stage 4 lung cancer. Just as when she would work a case, she exhausted every avenue in her medical advocacy and sought clinical trial options at the nation’s best cancer centers including Duke University and M.D. Anderson in Houston.

“Julie was an unwavering pillar of intellect, courage and grace. She had a fierce commitment to family and she certainly counted the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office as part of her family. Julie was, undoubtedly, the matriarch and the beating heart of our office.

“Julie exemplified public service. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, she served as executive director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Crime Commission. She helped start our office’s Domestic Violence Unit and later led the Criminal Division. She was closely involved in the legal aspects of merging our city and county governments into one.

“Julie understood that the underpinning of the law is people. She was always the first person to listen when someone had an issue in the office – legal or personal. Julie helped hire and train a generation of our city’s best lawyers. She put the needs of others before her own.

“My thoughts are with her children John, Josh and Kathryn, her family, and all those, like me, who loved and will miss her. She is with her beloved Joe again and will never be forgotten.” - Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell