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FOREST CITY | The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors appointed Kelsey Beenken as the new county attorney last week.

Beenken, who currently serves as the magistrate for Hancock County in addition to her private practice work, will succeed Adam Sauer, who has been appointed as an associate district judge.

In addition to Beenken, the board of supervisors interviewed three other candidates:

• Todd Chelf, senior assistant county attorney for Des Moines County.

• Brendon Moe, assistant Cerro Gordo County attorney.

• Judy K. Parks, former Ames city attorney and former prosecutor in Marshall and Story counties.

After the interviews, the supervisors narrowed the field to two candidates, Beenken and Chelf.

During the Feb. 27 board meeting, Supervisor Terry Durby said, "there's more of a comfort zone in hiring someone local."

The supervisors unanimously approved a motion to appoint Beenken.

She will fill the remainder of Sauer's term, which expires at the end of this year. To remain county attorney for another term, she will have to win the general election in November. 

Beenken's first day on the job is scheduled for March 19. Hancock County Attorney Blake Norman will continue serving as the special prosecutor for Winnebago County until then. 

Beenken, who lives in rural Buffalo Center, was appointed to serve as magistrate for Hancock County in January 2014.

She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in 2010 and her law degree from the same institution in 2013.

The Eagle Grove native decided to practice law in North Iowa after interning with the Earl W. Hill law firm in Britt in 2012.

After graduating from law school, she joined Hill's firm as an associate.


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