PRESCOTT - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday appointed Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Kenton Jones to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division I.
Jones has been on the bench of the county's Superior Court since October 2009. Before he became a judge, he was a Chino Valley magistrate, after spending 10 years as the town attorney for Jerome, Clarkdale and Dewey-Humboldt. He also has worked in private practice.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Jones graduated from the ASU College of Law in 1986 and received his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University.
"Kenton possesses more than two decades of civil, criminal, and judicial experience," Brewer said. "With a strong legal background and longstanding sense of service to his community, Kenton will be a valuable asset to the Arizona Court of Appeals."
Jones' community involvement includes a stint as president of the Yavapai Humane Society. He's been on the county's Help America Vote Act Advisory Committee and worked with the Rotary Club of Prescott and big Brothers/big Sisters of Yavapai County. Jones also established Girlsport, Inc., a non-profit whose purpose was to provide access to college scholarships for rural high school girls.
Having won the appeals court position on his second time through the application process, Jones admitted to mixed feelings about leaving the Yavapai County judiciary.
"There is a group of people sitting as judges in this county that are not bested by any county in the state," he said. "I had the chance to work here and I've been thrilled with it."
But an opportunity to work with the appeals court as a visiting judge in 2012 convinced him of his desire to make the change.
"It was a great experience," he said, adding that he believes tendency to produce lengthy rulings in Superior Court will serve him well in appellate work.
"I've always had to satisfy myself that I could articulate a reason for the rulings I was making," he said.
He is certain that his time on the appeals court will continue to benefit the area he calls home.
"Even when I'm working down there and out of the county, I'll still be working for the people here," he said, "because the rulings will matter."
Brewer appointed Jones to replace Judge Philip Hall, who retired from the bench.