Tognarelli's election creates associate judge vacancy

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 6, 2008, 4:31am

Lawyers in Madison County will soon have the chance to apply to become Madison County's next associate judge.

The vacancy will be created when Richard Tognarelli, who was elected to a circuit judgeship on Tuesday, takes his oath on Dec. 1.

However, Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis cannot ask for applications for the vacancy until the election is certified.

"We cannot accept applications on the vacancy early," Callis said.

Callis said that it usually takes around 30 days for the certification process which will be around the time Tognarelli is sworn in as a circuit judge.

Both Tognarelli and Dennis Ruth will get to vote on who fills the vacancy.

The newest associate judge in Madison County is Kyle Napp. She was tapped to replace Lewis Mallott.

In the past four years, Madison County has had five new associate judges, Janet Heflin, Steve Stobbs, Duane Bailey, Keith Jensen and Napp.

Associate judges are selected by the nine circuit judges in the Third Judicial Circuit. The hopeful must get at least five votes. The circuit judges use secret ballots.

Every four years, circuit judges then vote whether or not to retain associate judges.

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