14th district judge applicants named

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— Two private attorneys, a part-time Grand County judge and the assistant district attorney have applied for the 14th Judicial District's new judge seat.

The applicants for the third district judge position are Grand County attorney Steven A. Gall of Hot Sulphur Springs, part-time Grand County judge Mary C. Hoak, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James and former deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson. There were no applicants from Moffat County.

Hoak, St. James and Jenson applied for the district judge position last year when former District Judge Paul McLimans announced his retirement. Shelley Hill was appointed to fill McLimans' seat.

A third district judge position was created when Gov. Bill Ritter passed House Bill 1054, which during the next three years will put 43 new judges in place across the state. The new judge would serve in Moffat, Grand and Routt counties. The job's annual salary is $118,972.

Evan Herman, district court administrator, said the four applicants will meet with the 14th Judicial Nominating Committee on June 19 for interviews before the committee sends names of nominees to Ritter for appointment.

"It's my understanding these were the only four applications received," Herman said. "After the interview process, the committee will send two or three names to the governor. The process is pretty clear."

The application deadline was 5 p.m. Friday. The names of the applicants were released Monday.

Rob McCallum, spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Branch, said members of the public are encouraged to send public comment regarding any of the applicants to the nominating commission or Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez, Ex-Officio Chairman of the Commission, before June 19.

"What's interesting about (the 14th Judicial District) is that you have the opportunity to submit public comment," he said. "Some districts don't even announce their applicant pool."

McCallum said public comment is a crucial part of the hiring process.

"(The nominating commission) will take any comment it receives into consideration during this time," he said. "They're looking for any opinion or view, be it personal, professional or otherwise."

Once the nominating committee forward names to the governor, he has 15 days to select a new district judge.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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