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- 2013 - January - 23rd -

Nassau County judicial vacancy draws 11 applicants

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

The search for a new Nassau County Court judge continued Friday as 11 applicants filed for consideration by the 5 p.m. deadline for the seat formerly occupied by Judge Granville “Doc” Burgess.

Burgess, 63, died Dec. 6, but before his death he ran unopposed in his re-election bid in 2012.

That left Gov. Rick Scott responsible for appointing someone to fill Burgess’ term, which was due to expire Jan. 8, 2019.

The 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the 11 applicants starting at 9 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Nassau County Courthouse Annex.

Applicants will be interviewed in alphabetical order, according to commission Chair Chip Bachara. After the interviews, the commission can send Scott a candidate list with three to six names.

Applicants are:

• Janet Adams Carver, Fernandina Beach

• John Joseph Cascone, Fernandina Beach

• Clyde W. Davis of Davis & Martin, Fernandina Beach

• Gary Franklin Easom of Cook, Hall & Lampros, Ponte Vedra Beach

• Steven Michael Fahlgren, Hilliard

• Angela D. Mathews Gale, Jacksonville

• David A. Hallman, attorney for Nassau County, Yulee

• Wesley R. Poole of Poole & Poole, Fernandina Beach

• Eric Chase Roberson of The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, Jacksonville

• Thomas Eugene Townsend Jr., assistant public defender, Yulee

• T. Daniel Webb of Vernis & Bowling, Jacksonville

It will be the second interview process for commission board members Michelle Bedoya Barnett, Gilbert Feltel, Courtney Grimm, Michael Mullins and Paul Renner.

Bachara, Vice Chair Dexter Van Davis, Melissa Williamson Nelson and Robert O’Quinn are the committee’s senior members.

“During our first public meeting prior to the interviews to replace Judge Crenshaw, because of so many new members, we sort of just talked to the new people about how it works and what happens with the process,” said Bachara.

The new members also were introduced to the process of investigating information submitted by applicants and the interview process.

All members of the commission can ask questions of the applicants, but usually the person who investigated an applicant’s background starts the interview.

“We tried to put the interviews for the new members later so they could see how the members that have been on the board participate in the interview. To give them a little insight, but it wasn’t difficult for them to pick up. They are bright and they are lawyers, so they are used to question-and-answer sessions,” said Bachara.

The commission seeks comments regarding the qualifications of the applicants from the public and members of the bench and Bar.

Comments may be mailed to Chip Bachara, Chair, 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, 1 Independent Drive, Suite 1800, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Comments must be received before Jan. 29 in order to be considered by the commission.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

@photojoe71

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