CHARLESTON -- Kathy Brown, a Charleston attorney and former television anchor, is one of seven people chosen for an appointment by Gov. Joe Manchin to fill the position soon to be vacated by Judge Irene C. Berger.
Berger unanimously was confirmed by the United States Senate on Oct. 27 for a position on the federal bench.
Along with Brown, the other six candidates being considered are Carrie Webster, a Charleston attorney and chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee; Charleston lawyers Joanna Tabit, David Cecil and Katherine Louise Dooley; Phyllis Carter, an administrative law judge with the state Human Rights Commission; and John Hackney Jr., a West Virginia State Court of Claims judge.
The candidates were interviewed Nov. 4 for Berger's position.
Brown said she is exploring a run for the Kanawha County bench whether she's appointed to the position or not. She said she would be honored to hold the position either appointed or elected.
"I have a very strong work ethic," Brown said. "People want their cases resolved quickly. I will put in the time it takes to get the work done and not let cases linger."
Brown said she has experience in several areas of the law and has worked with many community organizations.
"Working with children has always been one of my main interests in an effort to make their lives healthier and more productive," Brown said. "As a judge, I would work outside the court with educators, parents and law enforcement to create innovative programs that help keep our kids out of trouble."
Brown said she was involved with the Jerry Lewis Telethon to raise money for children fighting muscular diseases for two decades and was instrumental in bringing to light critical issues that helped children through a segment on the news titled "Kathy's Kids."
"I have spent my life fighting for folks and trying to make a difference in the community," Brown said.
During her 22 years as an investigative reporter and anchor, she won numerous awards for uncovering injustices and investigating political corruption.
Brown said she was the first reporter to bring out details of mistakes in the State Police Crime lab, which lead to innocent men being freed from prison. She also reported and uncovered the extent of ties between drug dealing and office holders in Mingo County, where more than 80 people were indicted.
"The integrity of the justice system has always been important to me," she said. "My life's work proves that I can be impartial. I have no particular ties to anyone that would interfere with my ability to make fair decisions."
Brown moved to Kanawha County from Huntington in 1995 to manage the Charleston news bureau for WSAZ-TV.
Brown graduated from West Virginia University's College of Law in 2001 as a member of the Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization for outstanding performance at oral arguments.
While she was in law school, she worked part time at WSAZ-TV and as a law clerk for West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman. She also did writing and editing for The West Virginia Law Review, a student-run publication at WVU.
During her legal career, Brown has represented individuals, small businesses and multi-national corporations. During the recession, she has provided free legal help to those fighting home foreclosure and to those trying to collect their unemployment benefits.