Thursday, August 8, 2013

It'll be 'usual suspects' for Warren judge post

There’s a lot of speculation about who will be named judge at 37th District Court but I think it’s more like a case of rounding up, “The Usual Suspects,” like the movie, for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. The tough nerd should have a list of familiar names from which to choose since he named Dean Ausilio to the same four-jurist bench last year to fill Dawnn Gruenberg’s spot. He’s also filled three Macomb Circuit Court vacancies in recent years.
Applications for the Warren-Center Line post are due Aug. 15.
The vacancy occurred when Jennifer Faunce was elevated recently to circuit court to replace new Supreme Court Justice David Viviano.
Assistant Macomb prosecutors J.P. Hunt and Suzanne Faunce, Jennifer’s sister, have been in the mix before and will be again, as will 37th Court Administrator Rob Curtis. An assistant Wayne County prosecutor who made it to the top four for the circuit post also will be in there. Other likely candidates include criminal defense attorney Sal Palombo and probate attorney Terrance Gilsenan.
Cecil St. Pierre has been considered before but apparently isn’t entrenched enough in the Republican Party.
Suzanne Faunce may have the pedigree and the name, but her name also may work against her. Does the governor really want to have three successive Warren judges named Faunce? Suzanne and Jennifer’s dad, Sherman, was a long time judge in Warren.
But then again, the new judge will have to run for election next year, and Faunce could oppose the fresh face. Snyder would risk the embarrassment of his appointment being ousted.
Hunt, meanwhile, not only would be the first black judge in Warren, but the former cop would be a strong pro-law enforcement pick.


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