• Last modified 1979 days ago (Jan. 23, 2019)


New county attorney to move from Ellsworth

Staff writer

The Republican Party cast a narrow vote Saturday to appoint a Salina public defender as county attorney, passing over former county attorney Susan Robson.

The appointment is to fill the vacant seat of Courtney Boehm, whose last day on the job was Tuesday. She is now a district judge.

Ellsworth resident Joel Ensey prevailed over Robson by a single vote.

Ensey is Saline County deputy public defender at Salina Regional Public Defender’s Office.

He has family ties to Marion, including both sets of grandparents and two brothers. His grandfather on the Ensey side was a Marion physician. His grandmother on the other side, Jackie Hett, owns and operates a farm. His brothers are Jeremy and Jeff Ensey. Jeremy is CEO of St. Luke Hospital, and Jeff farms with their grandmother.

Taking over county attorney duties might entail a temporary commute, Ensey said.

“I plan on being there full time no later than March 1,” Ensey said. “There may be a period of time I’ll plan on commuting from Ellsworth to there.”

Ensey said he’s working with Laura Allen, who is serving as interim county attorney, to work out the details of when he’ll operate the office full-time.

Meanwhile, he’s working with his boss at Saline County to iron out how soon he can leave that office. He has jury trials scheduled through February, and it isn’t decided whether he will defend those trials or if someone else will take over the cases.

Ensey said he was Steward County attorney from 2012 to 2016, and wanted to return to prosecution work.

“When Courtney was elected to the judgeship, my wife and I looked at what our life would look like there, being close to family,” Ensey said. They decided to go for it, he said.

Last modified Jan. 23, 2019