Meet Gerina Whethers, Jefferson County’s New Commonwealth’s Attorney

WAVE News sat down with Jefferson County's new Commonwealth's Attorney, Gerina Whethers, to talk about her appointment, experience and plans.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -The Commonwealth’s Attorney job in Jefferson County has been important and tumultuous, and now after the sudden death of Tom Wine, Gerina Whethers has been appointed to the position.

Despite her time in the courtroom, Whethers has never prosecuted a criminal offense and she wasn’t even her predecessor’s choice for the position.

Whethers was very upfront about her new position.

She said she heard the concerns and understands she may not be everyone’s first pick, but believes she wouldn’t be in this position unless she was qualified to do so.

“I enjoy the law,” Whethers said. “I believe in the law and a big part of that is that I believe in the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and what their goal is, which is to keep our city safe. And I’ve been doing that for a very long time, it’s a part of me.”

Whethers grew up in Louisville, went to PRP High School and attended UofL for her bachelor’s and law degrees.

She’s been a public servant for almost 20 years, including working as a prosecutor for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office. Until recently, she was the secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet.

Governor Andy Beshear appointed her into Wine’s seat last month, leaving her with big shoes she said can’t be replaced.

“My responsibility is to get people to know who I am, what I believe in, and that’s going to be a part of being very enriched into this family called Louisville and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office,” Whethers said.

Whethers said she will lean on her team at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office as they continue to work as a united front.

“But we have great leadership here,” Whethers said. “And what we are committed to do, even in the three weeks we’ve been together, is to continue to do, and I’m very serious about that, is to do what’s right. Then everything else will work out the way it’s supposed to but we’re here to do a job and we got to do it together.”

In her short time in office, she said she has already hit the ground running.

“We have already off the bat, met with interim chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel, and working with her and LMPD, to make some great changes and the mayor and us all working together, Metro Council, it could be a beautiful thing,” Whethers said.

Whethers is the first African-American woman to take on the role, and with that, she said she hopes to set a standard for years to come.

“It is very humbling, especially in 2023, so what I pray for is that I won’t be the last one,” Whethers said. “It’s just indicative of our citizens in Louisville. We don’t look alike and there are plenty of people who could’ve done this and go to the spot in here.”

WAVE News asked Whethers if she plans to run for re-election once her appointment term by the Governor is complete. She said she definitely plans to and wouldn’t have taken this job if she didn’t plan to be a long-term solution.