GREENCASTLE -- Justin Long has been named as Putnam County's new chief deputy prosecutor.
Long was tapped by Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter to replace Donald VanDerMoere, whose last day on the job was Wednesday. VanDerMoere was chosen by caucus to serve out the remaining term of Owen County Prosecutor Allan Fountain, who died in September.
"I'm excited," Long said. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue my service to the people of Putnam County."
Long, 32, hails from Kokomo. He graduated from Indiana State University and then earned his law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.
After law school he went into private practice, and came to Putnam County as a public defender in 2006. He has been a deputy prosecutor in Putnam County for two years.
Long resides in Greencastle with his wife Janet and son Nathan.
VanDerMoere was planning on running for Owen County prosecutor in the 2010 election.
"The timeframe just got bumped up," VanDerMoere said.
Bookwalter expressed well wishes for VanDerMoere.
"We are all very happy for Don," he said. "He was born and raised in Owen County, and I know he always wanted to go back home to be prosecutor. He is extremely capable and will make a terrific prosecutor."
Bookwalter would like to have another deputy prosecutor in place soon.
"We will immediately begin our search for a new deputy prosecutor," he said. "I hope to have that position filled in a few weeks."
VanDerMoere graduated from Cloverdale High School in 1995. After law school he opened a private practice, and joined the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office in January 2006.
VanDerMoere currently resides in Cataract with his wife Nicole. He plans to relocate to Owen County.
"I have enjoyed my time at the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office immensely," he said. "It's not an overstatement to say I was blessed to have worked there. Tim and (Deputy Prosecutor) Jim Hanner were great trial mentors. The court staff members were all very supportive. I've made a lot of friends, but being the prosecutor in Owen County is the opportunity of a lifetime for me."
VanDerMoere had high praise for Long.
"He's a very smart man," VanDerMoere said. "He knows the staff and the know him. He'll be a good boss."