MOUNT VERNON — A total of eight candidates have expressed interest in becoming Knox County Juvenile and Probate judge following the retirement of Judge Jennifer Springer.
The candidates will be heard before the Knox County Republican Party Executive Committee in a closed meeting Oct. 10. The committee will then prepare a list of the top three candidates to send to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who will choose Springer’s replacement.
Republican Party Chair Chip McConville said the party has been notified either verbally or in writing by eight interested attorneys. The attorneys will have a chance to speak and answer questions at the Oct. 10 meeting, and the executive committee will prepare a “rank order preference” list, McConville said, ranking the candidates from one to eight. The top three will be sent to Kasich.
The appointee will serve out the remainder of Springer’s term, which ends February 2021. The judge’s position pays $140,550.
Candidates must have practiced law uninterrupted for at least six years and be a resident of Knox County. A sitting judge or magistrate may be considered as a candidate.
The list of interested candidates is not public, McConville said. However, the short list of three candidates will be public record when it is received by the governor’s office.
Springer retired as judge Oct. 1, notifying the Ohio Supreme Court and governor in a letter dated Aug. 30. Springer was elected in 2014 to a six-year term that began in 2015.
Prior to the retirement, Springer had been absent from the bench since April 2 for unspecified medical reasons. July 29, Springer was arrested for OVI by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Springer has pleaded not guilty to the charge, as well as a charge of running a stop sign from the same incident.
Since April 2, the juvenile and probate court docket has been covered by visiting judges appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court.