Fernley deputy D.A. following her father’s path | NevadaAppeal.com

Fernley deputy D.A. following her father’s path

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Kim Lamb/Appeal News Service Lyon County Deputy District Attorney Brandi Jensen with her husband, Jesse. Jensen is a native Nevadan and works in the Fernley courthouse named after her father.

Brandi Jensen is happily living in the shadow of her father.

As Lyon County Deputy District Attorney assigned to Fernley, the native Nevadan and 1994 Douglas High graduate spends her days walking the same halls in which her late father, Justice of the Peace Stephan Lehman, served honorably for 20 years.

Lehman’s legacy was so ingrained in the community that when he died near the end of his re-election campaign in 2000, he was still the voters’ choice.

To honor Lehman, the city of Fernley named the courthouse after him.

Six months ago, his only daughter moved in as deputy district attorney.

“It’s kind of weird to work in a building named after your father,” the 30-year-old prosecutor said Thursday with a chuckle.

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Though her father didn’t have a law degree, Jensen said her decision to become a prosecutor had a lot to do with her father’s career. The fact that her mother went to law school didn’t hurt either.

Initially when Jensen went to college she wanted to be a homicide investigator.

She earned a degree in criminal justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas toward that goal. But just before graduating, she got the bug to go to law school.

She left Vegas in 2001 with a law degree and her new husband, Jesse, in tow and took a job in Yerington as a law clerk for Justice of the Peace Archie Blake.

The decision to live in Fernley was an easy one for Jensen – both her parents grew up there and she said she loves the slower pace of a small town. But for Jesse, a city boy, it was a bit of a culture shock.

“The poor guy, he marries me and I drag him off to Ferntucky,” she said with a laugh that seems always at the ready.

Jensen went on to become Churchill County prosecutor for three years, before taking the position in Fernley.

“When a full-time position came open in Fernley it was too good to pass up,” she said.

Jensen is responsible for prosecuting all Fernley felonies and all misdemeanors outside the city limits. Misdemeanors within the city limits are prosecuted by a part-time city attorney.

When she’s not at work, Jensen spends her time with Jesse and their 2-year-old daughter. On March 15, the family will get bigger with the birth of another child.

Jensen said she and her husband could have found out the sex of the baby during their last doctor visit, but they opted to keep it a surprise.

Will they have more children?

“That’s up in the air. If its a boy I think we’re done,” she said.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.