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Finalists selected for Allen County judge vacancy

FORT WAYNE – The Allen County judicial nominating commission picked three names Friday to send off to Indianapolis for the vacant Allen Superior Court judicial seat.

Those three include two currently-serving Allen County magistrates and a partner at a local law firm.

Allen Circuit Magistrate Craig Bobay, Allen Superior Court Magistrate Jennifer DeGroote and Michael Michmerhuizen, a partner at Barrett & McNagny, have been nominated to fill the seat of Allen Superior Judge Dan Heath.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has 60 days to pick one of the three to fill the vacant seat.

Heath, who served in the Superior Court’s civil division, moved to the Superior Court’s family relations division to take the spot of Allen Superior Judge Steve Sims, who retired effective Friday.

The three names came from a list of eight candidates who each spent about 40 minutes with the commission Thursday afternoon in the council committee room in the basement of Citizens Square.

The nominating commission was made up of members of the local bar association as well as community leaders, and it was led by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David.

One of the attorneys on the commission was James O’Connor, Jr., also a partner at Barrett & McNagny. According to Indiana Supreme Court officials, the partnership was disclosed prior to the interviews and he would not vote on Michmerhuizen’s candidacy.

O’Connor did not ask Michmerhuizen any questions during Thursday’s interview process.

rgreen@jg.net

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