TALLAHASSEE – Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently appointed two new judges to the Escambia County Court.
Amy P. Brodersen of Pensacola was appointed to the bench to fill the opening left by Judge Thomas V. Dannheisser, who was appointed to the Circuit Court.
Most recently, Brodersen has served as general counsel for the Pensacola Police Department, having held that position since 2013.
“Amy was a valuable asset to our department,” David Alexander, chief of police at the Pensacola Police Department, recently told the Florida Record. “Her services to our department administration and its officers will be truly missed. We know she will make an awesome judge. She's fair, firm and highly motivated.”
Brodersen received her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama.
"Amy gave supportive advice that helped decision-making for both administrative staff and the patrol officers," Alexander said. "She also rendered legal opinions that helped us manage the liability risk associated with modern-day policing. She helped the police, police the police, We experienced a reduction in complaints of misconduct and appears to be more transparent to the citizens we serve."
Before serving as general counsel for the Pensacola Police Department, Brodersen worked as an assistant state attorney for the First Judicial Circuit from 2005-2012.
Kerra A. Smith, also of Pensacola, was appointed as a judge to the Escambia County Court to replace Judge Darlene F. Dickey, who was appointed to the Circuit Court. Smith will leave her post as the assistant county attorney for the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, where she has served since 2013
“Kerra Smith handled a variety of local government law issues during her tenure as an assistant county attorney,” Alison Rogers, Escambia county attorney, recently told the Florida Record.
Rogers was Smith’s supervisor.
“She always exhibited an exemplary work ethic and an unmatched work product,” Rogers said. “She is a perfect fit for the judiciary.”
Rogers said Smith represented the county's interests in all of the growth management and land use issues facing the county.
“She also dealt with many employment law matters, including employee disciplinary appeals, employee policies and administrative matters," Rogers said.
Smith received her law degree from Florida State University and her bachelor's degree from the University of West Florida.
Prior to her role as the assistant county attorney for the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, Smith held the position of assistant general counsel for the Florida Board of Bar Examiners from 2012-2013. From 2010-2012, she served as assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Smith also was an assistant state attorney for the First Judicial Circuit from 2006-2010.
Both Pensacola natives, Smith and Brodersen were partners for almost two years at the State Attorney's Office.
In an interview in the Pensacola News Journal, the two said it was an honor to be able to use their experience and knowledge to serve in their own hometown.