Governor to interview judge candidates

The search for a new district judge in Carson City could be complete this week following interviews between the governor and the remaining applicants.

Interviews start today for candidates Noel Waters, 51, William Maddox, 52, and James Shewan, 51. One of the trio will be appointed either Friday or early next week to succeed retiring judge Michael Fondi, said Michele L. Fair, press assistant to Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Fondi ended 23 years on the bench Friday and the Department 2 courtroom has remained dormant since. The finalists for appointment to the position were whittled from seven last week by the state's Commission on Judicial Selection.

Waters is in his third term as Carson City's district attorney, a position formerly held by Maddox. Maddox has served as a Reagan-appointed federal prosecutor and currently operates a private practice in Carson City. He also ran a failed bid to unseat Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa.

James Shewan grew up in Carson City, served as a prosecutor and defense attorney in the Judge Advocate General's Office of the Army and, for four years, has been deputy district attorney in Washoe County.

Incorporated in the governor's decision is background information gathered by the commission. It was sent to the capital for review last week.

Four attorneys bumped from consideration after interviews on Aug. 10 were Patrick O. King, 47, of Gardnerville; Kay M. Macuil, 41, an Elko prosecutor; Tim Terry, 47, head of the Medicaid fraud unit of the Attorney General's Office; and Joseph L. Ward, also with the Attorney General's Office.

Fondi, 63, started on the bench in July 1977 when he was appointed by then-Gov. Mike O'Callaghan. Previous to his appointment, he served as Carson City's district attorney for six years and chief deputy district attorney for four years prior. His law career started at the attorney general's office where he was a deputy attorney general.

Until his resignation, Fondi was the third-longest serving judge in the state. Carson District Judge Michael Griffin now holds that title.

Whomever is appointed to follow Fondi will have a starting wage of around $100,000 a year. Fondi's pay was at $122,000, the maximum a judge can receive.


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