The Kansas City Council plans to fill the municipal judge vacancy left by Michael McAdam’s retirement late last year.
Mayor Sly James previously had said he hoped to delay a decision on filling the vacancy until later this month, when the city expected to get a preliminary report from the National Center for State Courts on the Municipal Court’s docket and ways to operate the court more efficiently.
But now that report isn’t expected until late February.
That presents the City Council with a dilemma because of the way the city charter is written. The charter requires the Municipal Judicial Nominating Commission to give the council a panel of three qualified finalists for a municipal judgeship within 60 days after a vacancy arises. Because McAdam retired Dec. 31, the nominating commission must present the panel by March 1, so it can’t wait for a late February court report.
As a result, City Attorney Bill Geary has sent a letter to Justine Del Muro, presiding judge of the Jackson County Circuit Court, telling her the City Council intends to fill the position formerly held by McAdam.
The nominating commission is advertising for qualified applicants and will select three finalists for the City Council to interview.
The council will also meet Thursday to interview finalists for a vacancy created earlier when Judge Leonard Hughes III resigned last September.