The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local news

September 11, 2013

Field narrowed to 3 for Cleveland County judge post

NORMAN — Three Cleveland County attorneys Thad Balkman, Blaine Nice and Steve Stice have been named finalists to fill the Cleveland County district judge post vacated by longtime district judge Tom Lucas, who retired in August.

The nominees’ names were forwarded Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin, who has 60 days to fill the vacancies.

Balkman is a former state representative who has served as a lobbyist and private attorney. Stice is serving as a special judge for Cleveland County. Nice spent almost 25 years practicing law as a municipal attorney for the city of Norman before joining a private law firm.

The Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission interviewed candidates throughout the day Tuesday and announced their choices late that afternoon.

The commission also selected finalists to fill a Garvin County associate judge post that became vacant when John Blake retired. Judicial District 21 includes Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties.

The three finalists, who all live in Pauls Valley, are Steven Kendall, Kristin Jarman and Ryan Rennie.

Tammy Reaves, state coordinator for the judicial nominating commission, forwarded the finalists’ names to the governor. Those selected by Fallin will serve until fall 2014, when an election will be called to name the judges to full four-year terms.

Prompted by an Oklahoma Supreme Court scandal in the early 1960s, the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission went into operation in 1969.

In the mid-1960s, former state Supreme Court justice N.S. Corn made an 84-page sworn statement detailing his involvement in bribery and implicating other justices.

Creation of the nominating commission occurred in 1967 by an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution. The intent was to make the selection of judges as free from partisan influence as possible.

Others seeking the Cleveland County district judge post were attorneys David Batton, Jeff Bryant, Cheryl Clayton, Charles Douglas, Robert Don Gifford, Laura Shaeffer and Leasa Stewart. Batton also applied for the associate judge position.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014