Municipal Judge Appointment Recommendations

Only City Council members and authorized staff are allowed to post on this message board.
Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:44 am

Municipal Judge Appointment Recommendations

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:56 pm


In follow up to my Judicial Committee Update message board post from January 22, I wanted to let you all know the progress we’ve made over the past month up to this morning’s Judicial Committee meeting.

After establishing Council-approved evaluation criteria and posting job descriptions to fill potential vacancies on the bench, a nine-member independent panel was created to guide the committee regarding current judges and new judicial applicants. This panel was compiled of a diverse group of experts, including attorneys and prosecutors as well as advocates for indigent defendants. They reviewed stakeholder surveys, written essays and application materials from all current judges and new judicial applicants.

The Judicial Committee members reviewed all evaluation materials and at our February 8 Committee meeting, received the panel’s recommendations through extensive discussion in Executive Session. The recommendations were nearly all unanimous among the panelists, providing the Committee with valuable information that assisted in crafting the proposal that I brought to the Committee this morning. The proposal was approved unanimously by the Committee this morning and will be sent to the City Council for approval on March 8, 2018. The recommendations are as follows:

Presiding Judge
1. Sherry Statman

Downtown Austin Community Court Judge
1. Michael Coffey

Full-Time Associate Judge
1. Barbara Garcia
2. Alfred Jenkins
3. Mitchel Solomon
4. George Thomas
5. Steven Vigorito

Central Booking Facility Overnight Judge
1. Patrick McNelis

Substitute Judge
1. Ferdinand Clervi
2. Kelly Evans
3. Belinda Herrera
4. Tanisa Jeffers
5. Stanley Kerr
6. Ronald Meyerson
7. Evelyn McKee
8. Ryan Kellus Turner
9. Kenneth Vitucci
10. John Yeager

After approval by the City Council, our next step is to engage another round of applicants for the potentially four vacant Substitute Judge positions. We will utilize a similar process of enlisting the Review Panel to review applications and conduct interviews.

As we know, the Municipal Court is the first place where many people in our community go to interact with the justice system. It is so important to have this a place where all people are treated with dignity and respect and that our community feels confident in the justice carried out.

I want to emphasize the thoroughness of this process. Thank you to my fellow committee members, CMs Casar, Garza, and Pool, as well as my Chief of Staff Marti Bier and the many city staff who helped expedite this process. Those involved have noted how comprehensive the evaluations were and were quick to disclose their hope this will become a model going forward. I share this sentiment and hope you will join me in supporting the recommendation for our Municipal Court bench.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6