Wednesday, May 05, 2021

New judge selection process paused

| May 4, 2021 1:00 AM

EPHRATA — Applications have been put on hold for the open judge position on the Grant County District Court.

The position became vacant when former District Court Judge Tyson Hill was appointed to the Grant County Superior Court. Hill replaced Judge John Antosz, who recently announced his retirement.

Grant County Commissioner Cindy Carter said the district court judge position was posted and county officials had been accepting applications, but that process has been halted for now. Commissioners thought district court officials wanted to fill the position sooner rather than later, she said, but after a discussion with presiding Judge Janis Whitener-Moberg, commissioners determined that’s not the case.

“It appears there is not a rush,” Carter said.

Commissioners will appoint the new judge, and Carter said state law gives them a number of options when it comes to the selection process. The last time commissioners appointed a district court judge, they started with a committee that interviewed candidates and made a recommendation to the commissioners. Carter said that’s one of the options under consideration this time.

People who are interested in applying for the district court seat are being asked to contact Kirk Eslinger, the county’s human resources director,

The new judge will serve until the next district court election, scheduled for 2022. There are three district court judges, and until a new one is appointed, cases are heard by a temporary judge, known as a judge pro tem.