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Commission starts review process for new disciplinary chief

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More than 20 people have applied for the top executive post of the Disciplinary Commission, and the commission now may allow others to apply while it begins a review process expected to take at least two months.

The nine-member attorney-discipline arm of the Indiana Supreme Court met Feb. 12 to review about 20 applications received by the Jan. 29 deadline, according to court public information officer Kathryn Dolan. Members are trying to determine how to proceed and "may opt" to allow others to apply, Dolan said. A meeting hasn't been set yet for March or April, she said. No reason was given for why more applications may be accepted.

Members are searching for someone to fill a vacancy created at the start of 2010 when Don Lundberg, longtime executive secretary, left that post after 18 years to become a partner and deputy general counsel at Indianapolis-based law firm Barnes & Thornburg. In mid-December, the commission appointed staff attorney Seth T. Pruden to serve as interim executive secretary until a permanent leader is named.

The last time this process happened was in the early 1990s, and neither the court nor commission was able to locate information about how many attorneys applied for the post that Lundberg ultimately received or how long the process took at that time.

North Vernon attorney and commission chair Corinne Finnerty earlier this week declined to speak about the current review process, saying she wasn't comfortable discussing even general information about timeline, logistics, or number of applicants because commission members want to respect applicants' confidentiality.

The commission conducts the review process and will ultimately recommend finalists to the Indiana Supreme Court for consideration. No timeline exists for this to happen, but Dolan expects the commission will be able to offer a more concrete timeline by mid-April on where the process stands.

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