Gov. Andy Beshear’s office announced Friday that Christian County Attorney John T. Soyars was appointed to the governor’s Prosecutors Advisory Council. Soyars replaced Robert Neace and will serve at the pleasure of the Governor, according to a press release from Beshear’s office.
The Prosecutors Advisory Council is comprised of nine members with the attorney general being the chair, three county attorneys, three commonwealth’s attorneys and two citizen members. All members excluding the attorney general, are appointed by the governor.
The council is responsible for financial administration, handling the budget of the unified prosecutorial system, providing training for prosecuting attorneys, commonwealth’s attorneys and their assistants and attends an annual conference.
“Essentially, its duties are administering the budget statewide and providing training for all prosecutors in the state,” Soyars said in an interview Monday.
According to New Era archives, Soyars is the son of former county attorney and circuit judge Tom Soyars and is a 1990 graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School and a 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 1983.
Following law school, he returned to Hopkinsville, where he maintains a private practice in addition to his work as county attorney.
Soyars also has been active in the local community, serving as a commissioner with the Hopkinsville-Christian County Human Relations Commission and as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Hopkinsville-Christian County.
He is a past president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at his congregation, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and is a long-serving member of the board of directors for the Hopkinsville-Christian County Crime Stoppers, Inc., having held a variety of offices with that organization.
Soyars shared that prior to being appointed by Beshear that he had some experience doing what he would be doing as part of the governor’s council. He shared that he has done some trainings and presented at training conferences in the past.
Soyars was elected as the Christian County Attorney in late 2018. Prior to becoming the county attorney, Soyars served as assistant county attorney for 27 years, adding to nearly 30 years working as a local prosecutor.
Soyars shared that while he has been appointed to the governor’s Prosecutors Advisory Council, it would not affect his current position as county attorney.
“It won’t have any direct effect on my role as Christian County Attorney,” Soyars said. “It’s more work that I volunteered for. It’s a position that I’m glad to help and happy to do.”
Following the news of being appointed, Soyars shared that he is looking forward to working with the council and hopes the experience will help the council and his own career.
“I’m excited and ready to get started on it,” Soyars said. “I’m, of course, very humbled and pleased that the governor chose to appoint me.”
Soyars added the Kentucky County Attorneys Association asked Soyars if he would apply to be appointed to which he said he would be glad to, adding that he wanted to help the prosecuting system across the state.
“It’s a way to gain experience statewide and perhaps whatever experience I have can assist that council as well,” he said. “I’m proud to do it for Christian County for the entire state also. I’m not just representing Christian County, I’m helping represent all county attorneys throughout the commonwealth. I’m happy to help.”
He shared that he hopes to serve on the council for the remainder of his county attorney term, which expires towards the end of 2022.