County prosecutor gets new offices


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — The Fayette County Prosecutor has a new building with handicap access.

Thanks to funds from ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021), the Fayette County Commissioners were able to provide approximately $1 million to erect a new office building on the property that was formerly a parking lot next to the alley leading to the Fayette County Courthouse entrance off Market Street.

Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said he approached the commissioners with what he needed in a new building in order to relocate from the courthouse, and architect Mark Heiny drew up the plans accordingly.

The commissioners first entertained the idea of renovating the annex building at the corner of Main and Market streets, formerly occupied by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. But according to commissioner Tony Anderson, they found it better to auction off the annex building which netted one-third of the cost to build the new office facility.

The prosecutor’s office was formerly contained in three-and-a-half rooms on the first floor of the courthouse building, according to Weade. Judges asked for more space to better serve the public, so certain first floor offices were relocated.

The new building has seven offices, two conference rooms, a break room, restrooms, and a public entryway area with a handicap ramp. The prosecutor employs two assistant prosecutors. Attorney Andrew Seivers was hired in February 2023 and handles juvenile and delinquent cases. Attorney Rachel Martin has been with the office since 2019 and handles all criminal cases. Weade handles both criminal and civil cases.

Seivers was formerly an assistant prosecutor from Warren County. Martin is local to Fayette County. Martin was also appointed by the commissioners to the Fayette County Law Library Resources Board for a five-year term ending in December 2028.

Also located in that office is the Victim Witness office to assist victims of crime and obtain protection orders.

Due to the retirement of former assistant prosecutor, Dan Drake, in December, Weade said he is currently searching for an attorney to replace Drake as an assistant prosecutor. He is accepting applications from all areas and counties for the position in the new prosecutor’s office.

Weade was appointed to the prosecutor position in 2011 to finish the term held by attorney David Bender. Bender left to become the Fayette County Probate-Juvenile Court Judge. Weade was then elected to the position in 2012 and subsequent elections to date.

Weade also maintains his private practice at his office across from the prosecutor’s office on Market Street, Hammond & Weade. He has a general law practice and handles various types of cases, except criminal, civil or juvenile. It is the Weade Law Office, but Weade said he kept the name Hammond & Weade in honor of his late uncle, Robert L. Hammond, whose office with that name was formerly at the corner of Hinde and Market streets. Hammond was the assistant city law director for the City of Washington Court House, as well as general practice law.

Weade is married with two sons.

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