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Nine named as finalists to fill Marion County bench vacancies

May 23, 2018

The Marion County Judicial Selection Committee has selected nine finalists to be considered to fill three upcoming Marion County court vacancies after interviewing 40 candidates over a three-day period.

The committee named three finalists each for consideration to fill the upcoming vacancies left by judges Michael Keele, Becky Pierson-Treacy and Thomas Carroll, whose terms expire Dec. 31.

The finalists for Keele’s seat are magistrate judges Jason Reyome and Geoffrey Gaither and attorney Jennifer Harrison; for Pierson-Treacy’s seat, Magistrate Judge Marshelle Broadwell and attorneys Charnette Garner and Terrance Tharpe; and for Carroll’s seat, magistrate judges Jeffrey Marchal, Mark Jones and Danielle Gaughan.

Keele is a Republican, while Pierson-Treacy and Carroll are Democrats. The committee must formally submit the nine finalists’ names to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who will then have 60 days to name the three successors.The vacancy interviews took place on May 21, 22 and 23 and mark the first time the selection committee has met to interview candidates to fill open judicial seats. A total of 40 candidates submitted their names for consideration, and all 40 were asked to interview with the committee.

The 14-member committee — led by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa and co-chaired by Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford — previously met in March and recommended 17 sitting judges for retention, another first for the group created in 2017.
Though the legislature formed the committee to replace the previous slating system that was struck down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, it faced its own opposition from lawmakers who say merit-based selection deprives voters – particularly minority voters – of the opportunity to select their judges.

Aside from selecting three new Marion County judges, Holcomb is also currently tasked with naming Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge, who will replace retiring judge Michael Barnes. The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, which is led by Chief Justice Loretta Rush, named three finalists to fill the appellate court vacancy last week. As with the trial court selections, Holcomb will have 60 days to select the next appellate judge.  

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