Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jones among contenders for judge gig

By The Herald Staff | 8/11/2014

An Ottawa man who serves as county attorney in two counties and an Emporia lawyer who often represents clients in Franklin County are among four hopefuls vying for a vacant judge position.

The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet at 9:15 a.m. August 22 in the Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa, to interview four nominees, according to a news release. The meeting is open to the public. The judicial district covers Anderson, Coffey, Franklin and Osage counties.

An Ottawa man who serves as county attorney in two counties and an Emporia lawyer who often represents clients in Franklin County are among four hopefuls vying for a vacant judge position.

The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet at 9:15 a.m. August 22 in the Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa, to interview four nominees, according to a news release. The meeting is open to the public. The judicial district covers Anderson, Coffey, Franklin and Osage counties.

Contenders for the position include Brandon Jones, Ottawa, county attorney for Anderson and Osage counties, who previously served on the Ottawa school board; and Frederick L. Meier II, Emporia, a private sector attorney who previously served as assistant county attorney and then deputy county attorney with the Franklin County Attorney’s Office.

Kansas law requires the nominating commission to submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the governor, who will choose one to appoint, according to the release. A judge must be a resident of the district, be at least 30, have actively practiced law for at least five years, and be admitted to practice law in Kansas.

The vacancy was caused by the retirement of District Court Judge Thomas H. Sachse, according to Herald archives. Sachse, Ottawa, retired in May after 23 years of service as a district judge. He was appointed to the bench April 1, 1991, by then-Gov. Joan Finney. Sachse presided over domestic, probate and felony criminal cases. During his tenure on the bench, he primarily was assigned to the Franklin County portion of the 4th Judicial District.

The full list of nominees includes:

• Jones — The elected county attorney’s past experience also include working as county counselor/administrator with the Osage County Attorney’s Office, as special assistant attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, assistant district attorney with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, adjunct professor with the Neosho County Community College, and assistant county attorney with the Franklin County Attorney’s Office. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law.

• Meier — The attorney’s past experience also includes working in private practice with Hackler, Londerholm, Corder, Martin and Hackler in Olathe, and as assistant county attorney with the Miami County Attorney’s Office. He is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law.

• Sheila Marie Schultz — The Paola attorney is in private practice with Winkler, Lee, Tetwiler & Domoney, and is a part-time municipal judge for the City of Paola and the City of Osawatomie. She also is pro tem for the County of Miami’s code court. Her past experience includes working as a hearing officer with the Miami County District Court. She is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law.

• Douglas Paul Witteman — The Coffey County attorney’s past experience includes working in private practice as a principle attorney for the law firm Patterson, Nelson, Nolla & Witteman, L.C., and as an associate attorney with Hinkle, Eberhart & Elkouri, L.L.C., both of Wichita. He is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law.

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