Longtime prosecutor David N. Powell from Greene County is the newest leader of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.
The IPAC governing board announced the selection late Wednesday, culminating a search process that’s been ongoing for about three months since longtime executive director Stephen J. Johnson announced he was stepping down effective Aug. 1.
Powell was one of about 20 people who’d applied for the post and since early July a four-person search committee – made up of Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson, Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard, and Grant County Prosecutor Jim Luttrull Jr. – has been reviewing applicants.
An Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis graduate admitted to practice in 1981, Powell has three decades of experience in matters ranging from civil law, prosecuting attorney issues on the criminal side, and a long career as a military lawyer.
He’ll lead the state agency and represent Indiana’s 91 prosecutors before the Legislature, as well as act as a liaison to the governor’s office, law enforcement agencies, and various boards and organizations. He begins immediately, but will ease into the new position as he winds up his legal work that includes serving as special prosecutor in a number of criminal cases statewide.
He’s served as a part-time senior prosecutor in 16 counties throughout Central Indiana since 2007, when he chose to not seek a sixth term as Greene County prosecutor. Powell served as an elected prosecutor since 1987, working a decade part-time and a decade full-time. That allowed him to also practice part-time as a civil attorney in Worthington, handling business, real estate, municipal, school, and personal injury issues.
During his time as prosecutor, Powell served two years on the Indiana General Assembly’s Probation Service Study Commission and he’d also served on the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force.
A retired colonel for the U.S. Air Force, Powell has been a state judge advocate for air since 1998, which put him in the role of a senior legal advisor for military affairs for Indiana. He’d served as a judge advocate since the early-1980s, as supervising attorney and legal advisor handling more than 40 felony trials through the years.
Outside of his legal career, Powell has also spent his time operating a 700-acre family farm and beef herd in south-central Indiana.
A joint statement by IPAC board chairman Todd Meyer, Boone County prosecutor, and Luttrull from Grant County who serves as president of the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys, said the two organizations have confidence that Powell will be able to successfully pick up the role that Johnson had held before retiring and becoming a consultant.
Powell will also serve as executive secretary for the association, which is a separate entity and is able to operate in lobbying areas that IPAC by law cannot, since the latter is a state-funded agency. The second-in-command at IPAC, Suzanne O’Malley – who has been serving as interim director since Johnson’s retiremen – will continue handling the daily operations during Powell’s transition period.