TOPEKA—The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene Dec. 11 to interview nominees to fill a district judge vacancy in Atchison County created by Judge Robert Bednar’s Jan. 11 retirement.

The 1st Judicial District is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties.

The nominating commission will convene at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, with public interviews beginning at 9 a.m., at Leavenworth Justice Center, 601 S. 3rd St. in Leavenworth.

All interviews are open to the public. The commission will announce if it changes how it will meet because of pandemic concerns.

Anyone who attends in person must follow public health requirements set out in Supreme Court administrative order. These include answering questions at check-in about symptoms of or possible exposure to COVID-19, wearing a face mask while in the building, and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others.

Any person with a disability who requires accommodation to access the nominating commission meeting should notify the judicial branch ADA coordinator as early as possible, preferably 10 working days before the meeting date. Contact the ADA Coordinator at reimere@kscourts.org, or call 785-296-2256 TTY at 711.

The interview schedule is as follows:

9 a.m. – Jonathan Haig Gregor, attorney, Basehor.

9:30 a.m. – Douglas Max Tschauder, attorney, Atchison.

10 a.m. – John Robert Kurth, attorney, city attorney for Nortonville, municipal judge for Elwood, and Kickapoo tribal prosecutor, Atchison.

10:30 a.m. – Break.

10:45 a.m. – Pamela Campbell Burton, attorney, Leavenworth.

11:15 a.m. – John J. Bryant Jr., attorney, Kansas City, Kansas.

11:45 a.m. – Keyta Diane Kelly, attorney, Tonganoxie.

Interview sessions will pause at 12:15 p.m. for an hour long lunch break.

1:15 p.m. – Andrew E. Werring, attorney, Atchison.

1:45 p.m. – Amy Crawford, attorney, Salina.

2:15 p.m. – Michael G. Jones, attorney, Lansing.

The nominees for district judge must meet certain eligibility requirements. The requirements are that all must be: at least 30 years old; a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least five years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school; and a resident of the judicial district at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The nominating commission will interview nominees and then select from three to five people whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

If there are not three nominees who reside in the judicial district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the district.

After serving one year in office, the new judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen as the nonvoting chair; Julia Clem and Rosemary Nies, both of Atchison; Todd Thompson, Basehor; G. Ronald Bates Jr., Mark Preisinger, and Kevin Reardon, all of Leavenworth; and Lois Meadows and Geoffrey Sonntag, of Tonganoxie.

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