A state rule that forces judges off the bench on their 70th birthday has created a headache for Grand County officials.
The Grand County Council on Nov. 6 voted 7-0 to ratify Grand County Justice Court Judge David Tubbs as a senior judge – the same day he was compelled to step down – after a different judge failed to accept an offer to fill in for Tubbs until his replacement could be found.
The county and the Utah Administrative Office of the Courts have worked to find Tubbs’ replacement for weeks. On Oct. 15, the council needed to appoint someone to preside in Grand County Justice Court after Nov. 6 until a full-time applicant was chosen. Judge Steven Stream of Emery County Justice Court, who had expressed interest in filling in, was approved. Stream, however, never responded to Grand County’s several attempts to make him aware of his temporary appointment and to discuss compensation.
With that in mind, the county spent little time discussing the problem during their meeting last week, retaining Tubbs until his replacement is appointed.
Since the Nov. 6 meeting, the Grand County Nominating Commission selected three nominees to be Grand County’s next Justice Court judge: Jon Carpenter, justice court judge for Carbon County Justice Court and Wellington and East Carbon justice courts; Moab paralegal Danalee O’Donnal, and Moab attorney Steve Russell.
Comments will be accepted until Nov. 22. They can be emailed to Amy Hernandez at [email protected]. The county council must ratify the appointment of whomever it chooses within 60 days. The Utah Judicial Council must then certify the appointment.