A selection commission will meet Friday in McPherson to interview candidates to fill a vacant judge position for the Ninth Judicial District.
The position was vacated by Judge Carl B Anderson, who retired in January after 36 years of service on the bench.
Anderson died Feb. 7.
Ten attorneys and a district magistrate judge have put their names in for consideration for the judgeship and will be interviewed at the McPherson County Courthouse Friday.
These nominees include Gregory Bell, attorney from Hutchinson; David Harger, attorney with Wise & Reber, McPherson; Steve Hilgers, district magistrate judge from McPherson; John Klenda, attorney with Karstetter and Klenda, McPherson; JoAn Lindfors attorney from Marquette; William Mills, attorney in McPherson; Gregory Nye, attorney in Newton; David Page, McPherson County attorney; Gary Price, attorney with Boyer and Price, McPherson; Marilyn Wilder, attorney with Adrian and Pankratz, Newton; and David Yoder, Harvey County attorney.
The Ninth Judicial District serves both McPherson and Harvey counties; however, Anderson had primarily heard cases in McPherson County.
Each of the 11 nominees had to submit a detailed application. Each nominee also will be interviewed in person by the commission. The interviews are open the public, but the commission can recess into executive session.
The local bar associations in McPherson and Harvey counties each appointed two lawyer members to the selection commission. The county commissions each appointed two non-lawyer commission members.
Selection commission members from Harvey County are Tom Adrian, lawyer member; John Robb, lawyer member; Ron Krehbiel, nonlawyer member, appointed by Harvey County Commission; and George Rogers, nonlawyer member appointed by the Harvey County Commission. Krehbiel is a Harvey County Commissioner.
McPherson County members are William Gusenius, lawyer member; Robert Wise, lawyer member; Mike Androes, nonlawyer member, appointed by McPherson County Commission; and Harris Terry, nonlawyer member, appointed by McPherson County Commission.
Terry is the newest McPherson County representative on the board. He was appointed by the two other members of McPherson County Commission on Dec. 11, shortly before his retirement from the commission.
A concerned resident wrote The Sentinel and asking why Terry was appointed to the board to replace Daryl Ingermanson
Daryl Ingermanson, county medical investigator, said he had been asked by Harris Terry to serve on the selection commission. Ingermanson, a former U.S. Marshal, was named to the board Oct. 18, 2011 by the county commission, but he his name was never formally submitted to the state.
When Terry discovered county commissioners could serve on the selection committee, he asked Ingermanson if he would withdraw his name so Terry could sit on the board.
“He called and to talked to me,” Ingermanson said. “He said he wanted me to relinquish my seat. It was not a big deal. He wanted to serve on the committee, and I went ahead and let him serve.”
Page 2 of 2 - The vacancy on the board was not advertised, but Rick Witte, county administrator, said it is not typical for the county to do so with public boards. He said all standards for appointments were followed in Terry’s appointment.
Terry said he had interest on serving on the selection commission for several years, but he thought he was ineligible.
“I am interested in the judiciary and familiar with a number of the people involved who might be potential judges,” he said.
The commission is chaired by a Kansas Supreme Court Justice as the nonvoting convener/presider. That would normally be departmental justice, Justice Carol Beier, but Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will be presiding in her place.
The commission will nominate at least two but no more than three names for the judgeship. Those names will be sent to Gov. Sam Brownback, who will make the final appointment to the bench.
The governor has 30 days from the time he officially receives the nominations to make a selection, said Ninth District Judge Richard Walker said.
If a practicing attorney is selected, it could take weeks longer for the attorney to wrap up business in his or her practice before that attorney takes his or her seat on the bench.
Walker said the district has been shorthanded with the loss of Anderson and hopes a new judge can be seated as soon as possible.