Allen named new probate judge

Published 6:34 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pike County did not have to go without a probate judge for long.

On Thursday morning, only one day after former Probate Judge Bill Stone retired, Troy University’s Assistant Athletic Director of Development Wes Allen was appointed to step up to the plate.

“I am pleased to appoint Wes Allen probate judge of Pike County,” Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said. “Wes has clearly demonstrated that he is more than capable of handling the task, and I know the people of Pike County will be pleased with the job he will do as their probate judge.”

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Allen said he put his name in the hat for consideration after Stone announced he was set to retire, and he received a call from Riley early Thursday.

“I’m very humbled to know the governor has faith in me to appoint me to this position,” Allen said.

A job that brings with it many different responsibilities, from managing elections to overseeing legal documents, to serving in probate court, Allen said he knows he has his work cut out for him.

“I know it’s obviously got a lot of responsibility,” Allen said. “It’s a position that’s important to a lot of different people throughout the county.”

But Riley said Allen, through his work in Troy University athletics, is more than qualified to take the seat with his experience overseeing fundraising activities, dealing with trademark and licensing agreements and handling financial reports.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Allen will officially be sworn in and begin his work as a county employee.

Allen has worked on and off with Troy athletics since 1999, but he is originally from Tuscaloosa. He moved back to Troy in the past years with his wife Cae and his two children DeeAna and Davis.

Even though Pike County is not his hometown, Allen said he has made it so.

“A lot of people are lucky to be born in Pike County,” Allen said. “I’ve chosen to make Pike County my home.”

Allen, who is a republican, was welcomed by the Pike County Republican Party.

“I’m pleased by the appointment of Wes Allen,” Party Chair Adam Drinkwater said. “Wes is an exceptional leader and a hard worker. It’s my belief that he will continue to build on the strong foundation that is left by the previous administration and quickly provide the high quality services that the people of Pike County expect.”

Allen’s appointment was not met with the same response from all community leaders.

“I think shocked is a little too strong, but I’m surprised that Wes Allen was the appointee,” Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said. “Wes is a very nice young man, but I’m surprised the probate judge decision wasn’t filled by someone with Pike County ties. But I certainly wish him the best in his endeavor.”

Others who had sought the position were Matt Baker, Clif Hastings, Bill Key, Angela Johnson and Neal Armstrong. All, Allen said, were solid choices.

“All candidates were qualified, and I’m sure they could have done the job,” Allen said.