After an unsuccessful run for Mobile mayor in 2021, Municipal Judge Karlos Finley will not be retained as a part-time municipal judge, City Council President C.J. Small confirmed to Lagniappe.
The council is set to appoint three judges to the municipal bench and the vote could happen as early as Tuesday. The names include current part-time Municipal Judge Bucky Thomas and newcomers Freddie Stokes and R. Jeffrey Perloff.
Small said he was looking forward to seeing what the fresh faces could do in court.
“I’m anxious to see what the future will hold,” he said. “I hope that the fresh, new ideas will help to move our court forward.”
The appointments will increase the number of part-time judges from two to three. Perloff, Stokes and Thomas will join full-time judges Carvine Adams, Shellbonnie Hall and Presiding Judge Holmes Whiddon on the bench.
When asked about Finley, Small said the candidate “did not get enough votes” to make the top three.
In a text, Finley, who was appointed municipal judge in 2015, said he has not received any reasoning for why he wasn’t chosen, despite the fact that he applied, was interviewed and accepted a letter of recommendation from Whiddon himself.
“I think that’s a question best asked to them,” he wrote. “It was their decision.”
Councilman Joel Daves advocated to amend the ordinance on municipal judgeships that required the council to go through the application process at the end of each term. Daves said this would lead to a more “public, transparent and robust process.”
“The objective is to get the best people we can on the bench,” Daves said. “There were a number of very highly qualified candidates. I’m happy with the three candidates we chose.”
However, Daves said “nothing is set in stone” yet and it will take four councilors to approve the new judges. While the appointments are on the consent agenda, it will take a unanimous vote for the council to consider them on a first read.
District 2 Councilman William Carroll called the decision a “democratic process.”
“The process was transparent and open to the public” he said.
Finley finished third in the race for mayor in August, behind Sandy Stimpson and former Councilman Fred Richardson. Finley received 4,876, or roughly 14 percent of the vote. Richardson took 7,568 votes, or 22 percent, and Stimpson won without a runoff with 21,365, or 62 percent of the vote.
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