Spokane County commissioners interviewed six finalists for a District Court vacancy Monday, then said they’ll formally announce their choice this afternoon.
The commissioners spent 30 minutes with the applicants - four private attorneys, a deputy prosecutor and a court commissioner.
Three hours later, the commissioners had chosen the new judge but couldn’t announce their decision publicly for another 24 hours.
“Our lawyer said we have to make the announcement in a public meeting,” Commissioner John Roskelley said.
Fifteen attorneys applied for the $94,000-a-year job. The vacancy was created when Sam Cozza was elected to a Spokane County Superior Court seat.
The six finalists: Deputy Prosecutor Annette Plese; District Court Commissioner Vance Peterson; and private attorneys John Lamp, Greg Tripp, Harold Clarke III and Adrian Voermans.
Court insiders say Clarke and two attorneys with Republican Party ties - Lamp and Tripp - have the best chance. Two out of three commissioners are Republicans.
Tripp, who’s been active in community affairs and politics, served on the steering committee that helped elect Commissioner Kate McCaslin last November.
Lamp was Spokane’s U.S. attorney during the Reagan administration. Clarke, an attorney for 17 years, is the son of retired Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke.