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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE (ALJ) QUALIFICATION INFORMATION

Hon. Erin K. Lahr, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

ALJ Lahr has been a licensed attorney in good standing with the Indiana Supreme Court since 2008. She joined DCS in 2010 and has served as an ALJ since 2015. Prior to becoming an ALJ, Judge Lahr litigated before state courts and administrative tribunals in Indiana, and advised clients on issues related to child welfare, adoption/adoption assistance, child support, foster home licensing, guardianships/guardianship assistance and custody matters.  In addition, Judge Lahr has experience with representing individuals in other civil and criminal law matters in Indiana state courts.

Hon. Robert Sembroski, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

ALJ Sembroski has been a licensed attorney in good standing with the Indiana Supreme Court since 1979.  He joined DCS in 2010, and served as an ALJ from 2010 to 2014, and again beginning in 2016.  Prior to coming to DCS, ALJ Sembroski was a staff attorney in the FSSA Office of General Counsel, representing the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, where, among other things, he served as an ALJ for the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services.  Prior to working for FSSA, he was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Jefferson and Switzerland Counties, Indiana, where his duties included supervision of the IV-D child support enforcement program.  ALJ Sembroski has also had experience in civil litigation before the Indiana trial courts and the Indiana Court of Appeals, representing both public and private entities.

Hon. Douglas Purdy, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

ALJ Purdy has been a licensed attorney in good standing with the Indiana Supreme Court since 1994. He joined DCS in 2010 as a local office attorney and served in three different counties, representing the agency in CHINS proceedings and matters involving adoption assistance.  In May of 2015 he became Chief Counsel in Region 8.  He has served as an ALJ since November, 2016. Prior to joining DCS, Judge Purdy worked in private practice, worked at a non-profit university and for the first half of his career worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney, first in Lake County and then for nine years in Marion County.  He has extensive litigation experience in criminal and child welfare matters having tried hundreds of cases in a dozen counties.  He has taught business law, constitutional law, criminal procedure and history at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  He has experience in contract drafting and negotiations and has advised clients in wide array of areas including higher education, criminal law, landlord-tenant law, and child welfare matters.

Hon. Beth A. Butsch, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

ALJ Butsch has been a licensed attorney in good standing with the Indiana Supreme Court since 1986. She joined DCS in 2018 and served as Chief Counsel in Region 5 before becoming an ALJ. Prior to joining DCS, Judge Butsch served as Judge of the Fayette Circuit Court from 2010 through 2016 and presided over cases involving CHINS, Termination of Parental Rights, adoptions, guardianships, paternity, child support and custody, major felonies and civil litigation. Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Butsch had a private law practice for twenty years, representing clients in all aspects of family law matters, criminal defense, bankruptcy, personal injury and general civil litigation. While in private practice, Judge Butsch also served as both a County and City attorney and served as a part-time deputy prosecutor. At the beginning of her career, Judge Butsch was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Indiana and prosecuted disciplinary cases before the Medical Licensing Board, Pharmacy Board and Nurses' Board. 

Hon. Heather H. Kestian, Special Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) 

ALJ Kestian has been a licensed attorney in good standing with the Indiana Supreme Court since October 2008. She joined DCS in 2008 as a local office attorney where she represented the agency in CHINS and TPR proceedings and in appellate matters. She has also served as an ALJ for DCS, a Local Office Director for DCS, the Collaborative Care Field Director, and as the Deputy Director for Strategic Solutions and Agency Transformation. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Toledo College of Law in May 2008. During the first semester of law school, she attended a CASA training program and was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in October 2005. 

Compensation

All ALJ’s listed above are understood to be full time state employees with standard medical, insurance, leave, and any other state benefits available to them. See State Personnel Department’s (SPD) homepage for more information. Salary and other public information for state ALJs and other employees can be found at the Indiana Transparency Portal.