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Holcomb names Morgan County judge to Indiana appellate court

Judge Peter Foley, at right, looks on as Governor Eric Holcomb, at left, speaks during a press conference announcing Foley's appointment to the Indiana Court of Appeals in the governor's office. Foley is a White man with dark hair and glasses, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and red patterned tie.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Morgan County Judge Peter Foley, at right, looks on as Gov. Eric Holcomb, at left, announces Foley's appointment to the Indiana Court of Appeals on Sept. 14, 2022.

Morgan County Judge Peter Foley is the newest member of the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed Foley to the appellate court Wednesday.

Foley was a private practice lawyer in Martinsville before becoming county attorney and then judge in Morgan County. He said that experience will help him in his new leadership role in Indiana’s judiciary, addressing what he calls barriers and obstacles to attaining justice.

“The courthouse door is the gateway between the average Hoosier and the resolution of that issue … that’s where the rubber meets the road of justice, you know, it’s that friction point," Foley said. "So, hopefully bring a perspective of that.”

Holcomb said the most important trait Foley will bring to the job is that he holds the Constitution and the rule of law “in the highest regard.”

“And that public service itself and the love of the law, quite frankly, are both in your blood,” Holcomb said.

Foley is the son of former longtime state lawmaker, Republican Rep. Ralph Foley.

In 2016, Foley worked with local stakeholders to establish the Residential Substance Abuse Program in Morgan County. He serves on the county's Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council, which oversees the residential jail substance use disorder treatment program.

He previously served on the state court's Advisory Task Force on Remote Access to and Privacy of Electronic Court Records.

Foley had applied for previous appellate court appointments without success. Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush said he was a testament to "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." She called the Martinsville native "the best of what we have."

"I've read a lot of your opinions," Rush said. "They're solid; they're principled. But I also have been able to watch what you've done in your community."

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri.