Editor's note: This story has been corrected.
Thirteen candidates for a judgeship in South Bend are being interviewed Friday by the St. Joseph County Judicial Nominating Commission. The panel this evening will narrow the field of candidates to fill a St. Joseph Superior Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roland W. Chamblee Jr.
Half-hour interviews began in the morning, and candidates were to interview in this order: Scott Duerring of Duerring Law Offices in South Bend; Stanley F. Wruble III of Wruble & Associates in South Bend; Andrew Straw of Andrew Straw Esq. in Mishawaka, solo practitioner Jeffrey E. Kimmell of South Bend, assistant U.S. Attorney John Maciejczyk of South Bend; St. Joseph Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mary Catherine Andres; and Mark James of Anderson Agostino & Keller P.C. in South Bend.
Afternoon interviews are as follows: Andre B. Gammage of the Law Office of Berger & Gammage in South Bend; Elkhart County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David L. Francisco; Saint Joseph Circuit Court Magistrate Elizabeth Hurley; Edward P. Benchik of Shedlak & Benchik Law Firm LLP in South Bend; solo practitioner Jeffrey Sanford of South Bend; solo practitioner Mark Kopinski of South Bend and John P. Tuskey of Bingham and Loughlin P.C. in Mishawaka.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Maciejczyk of South Bend had been scheduled to interview but withdrew his application for consideration.
After the interviews, commission members will convene in executive session to narrow the field to five candidates whose names will be forwarded to Gov. Mike Pence for his appointment, which must be made within 60 days of official notice.
According to the Indiana Supreme Court, the merit selection commission established 40 years ago is chaired by Justice Mark Massa, and formerly was chaired by Justice Frank Sullivan. Its seven members include three bar members selected by St. Joe lawyers and three non-lawyers appointed by a panel consisting of the St. Joseph Circuit Court Judge, the mayors of Mishawaka and South Bend, and the president of the county commissioners.