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Posts tagged: John Luster

St. Maries Lawyer To Replace Luster

Gov. Butch Otter has appointed St. Maries attorney Richard S. Christensen to be a 1st District judge, filling a vacancy that will open May 1 when current 1st District Judge John Luster retires. Christensen, 57, is a former prosecutor and former deputy Idaho attorney general; most recently he's been in private practice in St. Maries/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Thoughts?

Luster retires

COEUR d'ALENE - After nearly 27 years on the bench in Kootenai County, John Luster is retiring at the end of this month.

“I still enjoy the work, there's just too much of it,” said Luster, 61.

He was appointed a 1st District Court judge in August 2000 by then Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, after serving as a magistrate since May 1986.

Luster, a Coeur d'Alene resident, will continue working part time as a judge for the next few years.

This week, Gov. Butch Otter interviewed three candidates seeking to replace Luster: Magistrate Scott Wayman, St. Maries attorney Richard Christensen, and Kootenai County civil attorney John Cafferty. Full story, David Cole, Cda Press 

Thoughts?

Judge Gives OK To Sewer Project

Judge John Luster has given approval, through the judicial confirmation process, for the city of Coeur d'Alene to spend $36M for a federally mandated expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. The judge deemed the project an “ordinary and necessary” expense — and, therefore, it doesn't require a public vote. The city is moving ahead with a public vote because Councilman Steve Adams has threatened to appeal the decision, tying up the project in court for possibly up to a year and endangering federal loans and funding. Full judge's decision here.

Question: Do you think someone can talk some sense into Councilman Steve Adams before tonight's meeting, to avoid an unnecessary expense of $75,000 to conduct a bond election in May?

Judge Tosses Camp Easton Sale Suit

A Kootenai County judge on Wednesday ruled against legal challenges by area Boy Scouts and their supporters to halt the proposed sale of Camp Easton to a North Idaho development company. District Court Judge John Patrick Luster on Wednesday denied efforts by a group calling itself Camp Easton Forever to halt a possible sale of the camp, which has been used since 1929 as a summer camp for regional Boy Scouts. Last year the Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts — which governs the camp and regional scouting — described plans to swap the 383 acres at Camp Easton for a new camp along Sunup Bay on the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Opponents have rallied widespread opposition to the planned sale and swap, saying Camp Easton, on the lake’s eastern shore, is a unique site and too valuable to sell/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. And: Copy of Judge Luster's findings here. (SR file photo: Joe Farrell, 12, center, and Kris Blackwell, 12, hold signs outside the Boy Scout headquarters in Spokane Feb. 24 in protest of selling Camp Easton)

Thoughts?

2nd Ellington Trial Begins Today

Trial is scheduled to begin this week for a North Idaho man imprisoned for four years on a murder conviction that was overturned because the Idaho Supreme Court ruled a state trooper lied on the witness stand. Jonathan Wade Ellington (pictured) has been free since early November on a $50,000 property-backed bond after returning to Kootenai County from a prison near Boise. Ninety-four Kootenai County residents are to report to the courthouse this morning for jury selection. Opening statements could occur as early as Thursday morning. But first, Judge John Luster will decide whether to dismiss the case against Ellington because of a last-minute evidence issue defense lawyers say infringes on his right to a fair trial/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: How do you think this second trial will play out?

SR: Mistrial Shows Area Fights Fair

Editorial: Mistrial shows area fights racism with fairness/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Part of the judge’s responsibility is to make sure that the evidence is delivered properly, which is why he threw a flag over the 911 tape. It probably would have been easier for Luster to let the trial go on, but that would have served no good purpose if it had continued to a verdict only to be overturned on appeal. Whichever way this trial ends, it is important not just to the parties but to the whole community. The Tankoviches and Requena all are entitled to justice. And Coeur d’Alene deserves a reputation for the impartial administration of justice.

Question: Do you sometimes get tired of the community playing fair with the various supremacist elements that continue to rare their ugly heads?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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