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Lake County judge pro tem appointed to fill Bonaventura vacancy

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Senior Judge Thomas W. Webber Sr. was appointed a judge pro tem late Friday as the Indiana Supreme Court intervened further in a controversy over who will be the next judge of the Lake Superior Court Juvenile Division.

The court issued an order appointing Webber one day after it issued an emergency order preventing Lake Superior Judge Nicholas Schiralli from taking over the vacancy created when Juvenile Division Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura was tapped to lead the Department of Child Services.

Justices on Friday ordered Webber, 75, to fill in until a dispute over Bonaventura’s successor can be resolved. Webber is a retired Superior Court judge from neighboring Porter County.

On Thursday, the court stayed any further effort to transfer Schiralli into the juvenile court after magistrates filed an action that said such a move would violate Lake County’s merit selection statute. Magistrates seek a permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition in State of Indiana ex rel. Glenn D. Commons, et al., v. the Hon. John R. Pera as Chief Judge of the Lake Superior Court, et al., 45S00-1303-OR-209.

Schiralli claims he is entitled through seniority to a transfer that would allow him to succeed Bonaventura, who resigned effective Sunday to take over DCS. Prior to the magistrates’ suit, Bonaventura asked the Supreme Court to require her replacement on the Lake Superior bench be appointed under the county’s merit selection system, I.C. 33-33-45-28.

Justices on Thursday gave respondents until noon Indianapolis time on April 8 to file briefings with the clerk of the court.


 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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