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Associate magistrate appointment in question

Commissioners went into executive session at the April 14 meeting to discuss pending litigation and reconvened to authorize county attorney Rob Morton to seek a declaratory injunction to resolve an issue in magistrate court. When questioned after the meeting, Morton said the law gives the chief magistrate the ability to appoint an associate magistrate. The associate magistrate then has the ability to perform the chief magistrate’s duties such as approving warrants and setting bonds. Morton said the purpose of the injunction is to determine if that appointment ends with the chief magistrate’s vacancy or with the end of her term. Former chief magistrate Priscilla Killingsworth’s term would have ended in 2012. ”Basically we are asking the court to tell us what we can do,” Morton said.

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