The Dakota County Board of Commissioners approved the selection of three finalists for appointed county attorney during a meeting Tuesday, March 23. The finalists are Kathryn Keena, Elizabeth Lamin and Tom Pugh.
Keena is chief deputy in the Dakota County Attorney's Office and is serving as acting county attorney. Lamin is an assistant Ramsey County attorney. Pugh is a retired Minnesota District Court judge.
The appointment process was prompted by the retirement of James Backstrom Feb. 27. Under state law, when the elected county attorney position is vacant mid-term, the board of commissioners appoints a qualified individual to serve as county attorney until the position can be filled by voters at the end of the current term. That will be the November 2022 election.
The subcommittee that recommended the finalists was formed by the board to review applications and make finalist recommendations. The full board will schedule public interviews of the finalists for later this spring.