The following story finally follows the rumors circulating for many, many months. Basically, Commonwealth Attorney for Jefferson County, Dave Stengel, is stepping down at the end of 2012. With Judge Wine and retired Judge Stephen Ryan getting their running shoes on for the race. With Wine resigning from the Court of Appeals, other judges are considering a run for that office, too. Well, I fully suspect there will be more than just Judges Shake and Maze shooting for that Court of Appeals slot.
Per the story, the following are looking for the Commonwealth Attorney's office:
- Tom Van De Rostyne, prosecutor with the Commonwealth Attorney's Office
- Carol Cobb, retired Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
- Stephen Ryan, retired Circuit Court Judge
- Tom Wine, soon to be retired Court of Appeals Judge
Second, the Court of Appeals seat to be open with Judge Wine's resignation effective Jan. 6, 2012, will mean a race and a potential appointment for that position. According to the reporter, Judge James Shake (trial judge in Jefferson Circuit Court) and Judge Irv Maze (trial judge in Jefferson Circuit Court) has indicated they will run. District Court Judge Dee McDonald has expressed an interest.
Although the typical career pattern is to go up the judicial ranks, it may be time for someone on the other side of the judicial bench to run for our appellate court. A practicing lawyer with a diverse background and experience surely is available.
Here's the link and parts of the story:
Dave Stengel, Jefferson County’s top prosecutor for 15 years, says he won’t seek re-election — and a handful of candidates are angling for the job, including an appeals court judge.
In an interview this week, Stengel, 65, said he will step aside as commonwealth’s attorney at the end of 2012, contending that he has taken a “savage financial beating” in lost retirement benefits and is ready to do something else, perhaps even making another bid to return to the legislature where he was a state representative in the ’90s.
“It’s been my life,” Stengel said, choking up in an interview this week. “It’s really going to be hard to leave.”
The field vying for Stengel’s spot is slowly taking shape, with long-time prosecutors Tom Van De Rostyne and Carol Cobb and former judge Stephan Ryan all filing papers with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
And it’s been one of the worst kept secrets in the courthouse that Appeals Court Judge Tom Wine will also seek the seat.
Earlier this week, Wine notified Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton and Gov. Steve Beshear that he would be resigning effective Jan. 6, the 20th anniversary of his taking the bench as a circuit court judge.
“I’m ready to do something a little different with my life, both professionally and personally,” said Wine, though he would not definitively say he was running for the top prosecutor spot.A constitutional provision forbids a sitting judge from running for a partisan office, so Wine, who was appointed to the appeals court in 2006, must resign before he announces publicly that he will join the race.* * *With Wine — a longtime foe of Stengel’s going back to the days when they were both proseuctors under then Commonwealth’s Attorney Ernie Jasmin —getting in the race, the courts are likely to undergo a round of musical chairs.After Wine leaves, the Judicial Nominating Commission, made up of Kentucky Bar Association members and people appointed by the governor, will pick three candidates and send them to Beshear, who will name a replacement until the next election.So far, Circuit Court judges James Shake and Irv Maze have said they will seek to fill Wine’s spot. And District Court Judge Dee McDonald said in an interview that she has is thinking about it.