Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has appointed Sheridan County Attorney Aaron Conn of Rushville to succeed retired 12th Judicial District County Judge Russ Harford of Chadron.
The 12th District covers the 11 Panhandle counties plus Grant County in the Sandhills. Judge Conn will be based in Chadron and handle primarily Dawes, Sioux, and Sheridan counties.
The 37-year old Conn told the 12th District Nominating Committee that he didn’t know whether he would move to Chadron or remain in Rushville since the job would require some amount of commuting no matter which town was home.
Conn graduated from the Creighton University School of Law in 2011 and practiced in Omaha for a year and a half before moving to the Panhandle as an associate at the Smith and King law firm in Gordon. He became a partner in 2017.
Conn served as a Deputy Sheridan County Attorney under Smith King partner Jamian Simmons from his arrival until being elected to the office himself in 2020, handling both felony and misdemeanor cases. He doubled as a Deputy Box Butte County Attorney from June 2017-January 2019, prosecuting all misdemeanors.
Conn has served as lead counsel in a variety of civil matters, and has argued before the Nebraska Supreme Court. and assists with the document drafting and filing process for individuals wanting to start a new business.
He’s also been actively involved in his community, serving as a youth softball coach, a board member of the Rushville Youth Organization Inc – a local non-profit corporation funding youth athletics – and is a member of both the state and Sheridan County Historical Societies.
Required judicial orientation and education sessions will likely keep Conn from actively taking the bench until early next year.