CHARLESTON – Three people have been recommended to fill a circuit court judge vacancy in Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie counties.
The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission submitted the names of Cynthia Loomis, Rocco Mazzei and Timothy Sweeney to Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.
Debra Scudiere, in a Monday letter to Tomblin's office, said the committee interviewed seven candidates to fill the vacancy left by the September death of Third Circuit Judge Robert Holland. Other applicants were Carl Bryant, Robert L. Greer, Ira Haught and Darren Tallman.
"After considering the relative strengths of each candidate, we are pleased to submit to you the following list of best-qualified persons," Scudiere wrote in her letter.
On Monday, Scudiere said she was pleased with the entire process, especially it being the commission's first foray.
"I think it went amazingly well," she said. "We have a very dedicated commission. Each one of them were able to get to the interviews in person. I think each of them had some pertinent and probing questions, and I think each of the candidates were candid with us. We had all of our questions answered.
"I am thrilled it went so smoothly."
Scudiere said the commission is making few changes for its next recommendation, which is an opening in Cabell County left when Circuit Judge Dan O'Hanlon retired.
"We have fine-tuned the written application a bit to keep it up to date," Scudiere said. "We are asking questions about membership in social media. We're just trying to keep our application up to date."
The Cabell County timeline is as follows:
X Dec. 1 – Commission organizational meeting;
X Dec. 22 – Deadline for applications to be returned;
X Dec. 30 – Deadline for letters of recommendation;
X Jan. 14 – Interviews tentatively scheduled.
After that, the commission will address the impending vacancy of Marion Circuit Judge Fred Fox, who is retiring effective Nov. 30. That schedule is as follows:
X Dec. 6 – Application will be posted online;
X Dec. 8 -- Commission organizational meeting;
X Jan. 10 -- Deadline for applications to be returned;
X Jan. 19 -- Deadline for letters of recommendation;
X Jan. 31 -- Interviews tentatively scheduled.
Appointed members of the commission include Kent Carper of Charleston, Sam Duncan of Huntington, Bert Ketchum of Huntington, Kenny Perdue of Fairmont, Steve Robey of Charleston, Scudiere of Morgantown, Charles S. Trump IV of Berkeley Springs and Don Wagenheim of Wheeling.
West Virginia University School of Law Dean Joyce McConnell, State Bar President Letitia Chafin, and Kurt Dettinger, designee of Gov. Tomblin, are ex officio members of the commission.