Commission votes to fill county judgeship vacancy

The Nebraska Judicial Resources Commission Tuesday voted 10 to 5 to fill the county court judgeship previously held by retired Judge Charles Plantz and locate it in Alliance. The judgeship has not been filed for nearly a year.

Supreme Court Judge John McCormack recommended to the commission that they defer the decision to the legislature as he also lobbied for an additional juvenile judgeship in Douglas County and for raises for judges and court employees.

But Scottsbluff attorney Howard Olsen was proud the majority of the commission members said their job was not to be part of politics but determine the need for judicial resources.

Valentine Judge James Orr has been traveling over 200 miles back and forth to serve Sheridan County every week for four months in a Commission experiment panhandle county commissioners, attorneys and judges said was not working. Scottsbluff attorney Mike Javaronock said filling the vacancy would not only assist Judge Orr but also put less stress on Judge Russ Harford in Chadron, who has had health issues and was trying to cover all the other northwestern counties by himself.

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