LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Dave Armstrong, a former Kentucky attorney general whose long public career included helping guide Louisville and Jefferson County toward a merged government, has died. He was 75.
Armstrong's death was confirmed Thursday by Mike Poole, a funeral director at Pearson Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements.
Armstrong, a Democrat, was a fixture in Louisville politics for years, first as a two-term Jefferson County judge-executive and then during a term as Louisville's mayor.
In recent years, Armstrong had battled myasthenia gravis, a physically debilitating disease.
Early in his career, Armstrong served as Jefferson County commonwealth's attorney.
His role as the county's top prosecutor was a springboard to statewide office when, in 1983, Armstrong was elected as state attorney general.
Late in his career, Armstrong served on the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
GLI Statement on the Passing of Dave Armstrong:
“Dave Armstrong spent decades as a dedicated public servant for both the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. GLI worked with his administration through the city-county merger and many other projects that built some of downtown Louisville’s most famous assets like Fourth Street Live!, the Skate Park, and Louisville Glassworks. We are saddened to hear of his passing and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. His legacy will live on the city he led.” – Kent Oyler, President & CEO of GLI."
Statement from Mayor Fischer:
"Dave Armstrong was a true public servant, dedicating most of his life to the city and the state as a judge, mayor, county judge-executive and Attorney General. His dedication to public service ranks him among the greats in the history of our Commonwealth.
"He had a vision for a vibrant downtown and passion for Louisville being a great place to live, work and play. And his dreams were realized.
"Most importantly, he was a generous and loving husband, father and grandfather -- and a mentor to me and many others. Our entire community celebrates his legacy."
Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk David L. Nicholson released the following statement:
“Dave was a natural leader. He always brought his heart and soul to everything he did, and that's the way he governed. It was an honor to serve in his administration. Dave was good for Louisville. I will miss him."
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement:
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of my friend Dave Armstrong, an incredible Kentuckian. I was proud to know Dave during his nearly five decades of public service, and I firmly believe that the city of Louisville and the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky admired him for his leadership and care. We will all miss Dave’s compassion, dedication, and vision for our city and our state. Along with our entire community, Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to Dave’s wife, Carol, his family, and his friends.”
STATEMENT FROM COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY TOM WINE:
"I was saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Dave Armstrong.
Dave is best known as a committed civic leader, Mayor, and County Judge and his contributions to our community are too numerous to be listed in their entirety. However, I want to note that it was during his tenure as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Jefferson County that he made some of his first important contributions.
After being elected as Commonwealth’s Attorney in 1976, he restructured the office, staffing it with full time rather than part time prosecutors. He hired the office’s first victim advocate. He started the first pre-trial diversion program. He created the Career Criminal Bureau and the Economic Crime Unit. He helped secure the Old Jail Building as the office for the Commonwealth’s Attorney and, as a consequence, consolidated three separate office spaces into one central location.
Dave was elected to a second term as Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney and then was elected as Kentucky Attorney General. As Attorney General he acted humbly and ably and always looked out for Kentucky’s local prosecutors.
During his time as Commonwealth’s Attorney, Dave hired and trained many young lawyers, four of whom who later served as our Commonwealth’s Attorney. I am personally indebted to him for first hiring me as a law clerk and then as a prosecutor. He was instrumental in helping me with my election as Jefferson County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2012.
Although in poor health, Dave frequently visited the office to see how things were going, his most recent visit being just this past January.
I am grieved by his death, but grateful for his commitment to prosecution and public safety in our community."