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10 vying for the gavel in Morgan
GOP chair vice releases list of applicants for new Morgan district judgeship

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

Ten attorneys, including three assistant prosecutors, are vying to hold the gavel for the newly created Morgan County district court judgeship.

John Mays, vice chairman of the Morgan County Republican Executive Committee, released the names.

These individuals have submitted applications to the committee and to Gov. Bob Riley:

Assistant district attorneys Paul Matthews, Wesley Lavender and Brent Craig; and attorneys Charles Langham, Jerry Knight, Tom DiGulian, Jon Sedlack, Richard Sparkman, Britt Cauthen and Tim Kyle.

Mays said the Republican committee will narrow the list to three or four candidates to send to Riley.

He explained the process.

“Each individual applying for the job is given an interview with the committee,” Mays said. “We gave five interviews Tuesday night and we will do the other five Monday.”

Mays said the committee will make a selection of candidates to recommend at the conclusion of interviews.

“The governor’s appointments secretary told us that he would like either three or four names,” Mays said. “Then, they will go to Montgomery for interviews. The governor will make the final decision.”

Matthews and Langham ran unsuccessfully last year against District Court Judge Shelly Waters for the post she now holds that retired Judge David Bibb vacated.

The local legislative delegation, with Rep. Bill Dukes, D-Decatur, introducing legislation, got the third judgeship approved in 2000. Funding for the job did not become available until this year. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, worked with state officials and the governor to get the job funded.

The beginning judge’s salary is $114,892.30 and a judicial assistant’s salary is $28,914.60, according to the state Administrative Office of Courts. Orr said it costs about $270,000 to run the office.

The committee that will make recommendations to Riley include Clay Marlow, chairman; Mays, vice chairman; Julie Clausen, secretary; Jim O’Hara, treasurer; and Bill Wood, 4th Congressional District chairman.

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