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Judge not

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Council Judicial Committee is moving forward with the appointment of Municipal Court judges at a breakneck pace, according to a post by Council Member (and committee chair) Jimmy Flannigan. Under the city charter, the four-year appointments should have been made on Jan. 1, 2018, and the committee is now operating under the allowed 90-day extension, creating a firm April 1 deadline for appointments. Due to an oversight during committee reshuffling, and then the reshuffling of that, Austin was left with no committee at all to handle appointment this incarnation was only created in November. “Our research into how this process has occurred in the past, including how the City of Austin and other cities have conducted their Municipal Court appointment process, has shown there is no historical or national standard, necessitating a new process that can be used for this term and in the future,” wrote Flannigan, who explained that in December he and Council members Greg Casar, Delia Garza and Leslie Pool crafted a new process for evaluating and approving judges and created an independent panel to evaluate and make recommendations. City Council is scheduled to consider the appointments at its March 8 meeting.

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