ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is mulling three candidates, a Clayton attorney and two associate circuit judges, that the 22nd Circuit Judicial Commission recommended to fill a bench vacancy left when Judge Jimmie Edwards resigned last fall.
The nominees are Diekman & Leightner attorney, James Leightner, City of St. Louis Associate Circuit Judge Scott Millikan and City of St. Louis Associate Circuit Judge Calea Stovall-Reid, according to the commission's announcement issued Feb. 15. Stovall-Reid was passed over last month for another vacancy on the 22nd Circuit.
"The commission believes these candidates, chosen from a field of extremely qualified individuals, possess those qualities essential to the fair and efficient administration of justice," the commission's announcement said. "The commission is confident any of these individuals is capable of serving well and honorably if selected by the governor."
The three were selected by the commission following a day of public hearings in January, during which 31 applicants were interviewed, according to the commission's announcement. Commission members are James M. Dowd, chairman and chief judge of Missouri's Eastern District Court of Appeals; Rita Burlison; Brent Dulle; Andre Harris and Bryan J. Sanger, according to the commission's announcement.
The three candidates recommended by the commission are being considered for the vacancy left by Judge Edwards, who now works for the City of St. Louis. Edwards, who had been a St. Louis circuit judge since 1992, was sworn in as the city's new director of public safety in November following his appointment by Mayor Lyda Krewson.
Leightner, a 1983 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and a 1986 graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law in 1986, has been with Diekman & Leightner since 1985 and has lived in St. Louis for 31 years, according to his application released by the commission. He was admitted to the Missouri State Bar on Oct. 10, 1986, according to his profile on the Missouri Bar's website.
Judge Millikan, a 1998 graduate of Webster University in St. Louis and a 2003 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, was appointed associate circuit judge in the city of St. Louis by Gov. Greitens in July, according to his application released by the commission. He has lived in St. Louis for 24 years, according to his application. He was admitted to the Missouri State Bar on Sept. 29, 2004, according to his profile on the Missouri Bar's website.
Judge Stovall-Reid, a 1982 graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C. and a 1990 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, has lived in St. Louis for 29 years, according to her application released by the commission. She was appointed associate circuit judge in March 2003 and has since been twice retained by voters, according to her online biography on the Missouri Judicial Review Committee's website.
Stovall-Reid had previously been recommended by the commission to fill the circuit judge vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Timothy J. Wilson. Last month, Gov. Greitens selected former assistant circuit attorney Annette Llewellyn to fill Judge Wilson's vacancy.
Under the state's nonpartisan court plan, Gov. Greitens will select a new judge from among the three candidates recommended by the commission. On Feb. 22, Gov. Greitens was indicted by a Missouri grand jury on an invasion of privacy charge stemming from an alleged attempt to cover-up an extramarital affair.