FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear today appointed Sen. David Williams, R-Burkesville, as circuit judge of the 40th judicial circuit, which covers Cumberland, Clinton and Monroe counties. The appointment is effective Nov. 2.
The senate president, who ran against Beshear for governor last year, was nominated Thursday by the judicial nominating commission, along with public defender Angela M. Capps and retired district judge Stephen Douglas Hurt. The judgeship had been held by Eddie Lovelace, who died unexpectedly in September.
The governor had 60 days to make a decision.
“The nominating commission representing lawyers and citizens in the 40th judicial circuit considered all the applicants for the position of circuit judge. The commission chose three people who met the rigorous criteria for serving in that position, including knowledge of the law and of the community,” Beshear said. “Sen. Williams is an experienced lawyer and is familiar with the district, having represented the area in the legislature for more than 20 years.”
On Thursday, Williams, 59, said he would accept the position if he was appointed. Williams’ pension will double if he accepts the position, according to a Lexington Herald Leader report.
Legislators can count their highest years of pay in another branch of government toward their pensions. A circuit court judge makes $124,000 a year, more than twice the average salary of a part-time legislator, the Herald Leader said.
Williams will serve the remaining two years of Lovelace’s term and will face re-election in 2014 if he wants to stay on the bench.
A special election will be called to fill Williams’ seat in the Kentucky Senate.