Dayton appoints Atewologun to judicial selection commission

Riverland Community College’s president will have a hand in selecting judges across Minnesota, including Mower County’s new judge position coming later this year.

Riverland Community College President Dr. Adenuga Atewologun prepares to speak at a press conference in Austin's Town Center building last year. Herald file photo

Riverland Community College President Dr. Adenuga Atewologun prepares to speak at a press conference in Austin’s Town Center building last year. Herald file photo

Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Riverland President Dr. Adenuga Atewologun to the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection, a 49-member panel that solicits judicial candidates, evaluates applicants and recommends appointments to Dayton.

Atewelogun, who was selected as Riverland’s president on July 1, 2013, joined the commission as a non-attorney member on Friday, replacing Linda Cruz-Lares, an Albert Lea native who worked as the cultural diversity specialist at Semcac Community Action Agency. Atwelogun’s term on the commission is slated to expire Jan. 7, 2019.

A judge position is slated to become open Mower County this summer. Last month, the Minnesota Supreme Court confirmed that Ramsey County Referee JoAnne Yanish’s position will be converted to a new judgeship and chambered in Mower County after Yanish retires April 4.

Since Mower County Judges Jeffrey Kritzer and Kevin Siefken took the bench in June 2014, the judge need hasn’t dropped below 2.7 for a quarter, and it’s often been as high as three judges.

With the recent high caseload in Mower, other district judges have been traveling to Mower County a few days each week. Once Mower County is up to three judges, Thompson expects Mower judges to occasionally help out in Olmsted County.

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