Lame-duck Volusia County Judge Mary Jane Henderson among 31 candidates to seek retiring Circuit Judge Patrick Kennedy's seat; new year judicial assignments announced
Reported first by NSBNEWS.net, VolusiaNews.net
File photo by Henry Frederick
Volusia County Judge Mary Jane Henderson, who leaves her seat of 19 years at year's end because she lost her re-election bid to criminal defense attorney Robert Sanders Jr., is among 31 candidates seeking a circuit judgeship. Sanders was able convince a majority of the voters that it was time for her to go following her public reprimand last year before the Florida Supreme Court for her friendship with a career criminal.
DAYTONA BEACH -- Volusia County Judge Mary Jane Henderson, who lost re-election to her seat in the Aug. 24 primary elections following her public reprimand before the Florida Supreme Court for an inappropriate friendship with a career criminal, is among 31 candidates for the circuit judgeship held by Patrick Kennedy who retires at the end of the year.
Criminal defense attorney Robert Sanders Jr. of Ormond Beach narrowly defeated the 19-year incumbent Henderson in the hotly contested election.
Henderson, of New Smyrna Beach, was forced to campaign with the backdrop of her public reprimand last year before the Florida Supreme Court for her personal friendship with career criminal Henry Wheeler, now in prison on a violation of probation conviction.
You can watch the Florida Supreme Court video of County Judge Mary Jane Henderson by clicking the graphic or link below:
Far left, County Judge Mary Jane Henderson in a campaign pose on the bench. Near left is Henry Wheeler, 41, a career criminal with 60-plus arrests whom Henderson befriended leading to her 2009 public reprimand before the Floerida Supreme Court.
Wheeler, now in prison for violating probation, is a key witness in a murder investigation who has been uncooperative with New Smyrna Beach police, had been arrested 60 times, before Henderson helped him get an apartment and tried to manage his money for him.
Henderson stood before the state's High Court where she was admonished by Chief Justice Peggy Quince, who told her that while her actions, while well-meaning, cast a pall on the entire judiciary and reminded her she is a judge 24 hours a day whether she's on the bench or not. Henderson also was ordered to undergo mental health counseling.
Among the other candidates for Judge Kennedy's seat include Volusia County Court Judge David Beck; major crimes prosecutor Leah Case, attorney George Pappas, who came up short in the August primary to Matt Foxman for the circuit seat being vacated by the prosecutor's father, S. James Foxman, who is retiring at year's end.
Another prominent candidate is Daytona Beach criminal defense attorney Gerard Keating, who has defended defendants facing the death penalty as punishment.
The other candidates include: Donald Birch Jr., Marc Dwyer, Kim Heler, Kathleen McNeilly, Michael Wingo, Alfred Washington Jr., Joseph Warren, John Seldon, Georgina Roman-Secor, Thomas Portuallo, Sidney Nowell, Mitchel Novas, Dawn More-Stens, Denise Mensh, Nancye Jones, Tammy Jacques, Steven Henderson, Dustin Matthew Havens, Jonathan Glogover, Christopher France, Scott Decker, Neal Coffman, Rosemary Lee Calhoun, Elizabeth Blackburn and Alexander Alvarez.
Interviews are scheduled Oct. 20-21, at the City Island Courthouse Annex before the Judicial Nominating Committee chaired by attorney William Voges. The interview process is open to the public, but deliberations after the interviews are not, as the committee narrows the list to several for consideration of appointment by the governor.
SIDEBAR: New Year to bring new judges, assignments
DAYTONA BEACH - The 7th Judicial Circuit will be starting off the New Year with new judges and new assignments, court administration spokeswoman Molly Justice said.
Circuit judges S. James Foxman, Kim C. Hammond, Patrick G. Kennedy and A.W. Nichols will be retiring at the end of the year.
On the Volusia County Court bench, Judge-Elect Robert Sanders will be filling a seat currently occupied by Volusia County Court Judge Mary Jane Henderson.
The following assignments will be effective January 2011 in Volusia County:
- Sanders will preside over a civil division in Daytona Beach currently assigned to Volusia County Court Judge Bryan A. Feigenbaum. The civil division currently assigned to Henderson will be relocated to New Smyrna Beach and assigned to Feigenbaum.
- Circuit Judge Frank Marriott will move to Kennedy's criminal division in Daytona Beach. The person appointed by the governor to fill Kennedy's vacancy will preside over a juvenile dependency division in Daytona Beach.
- The family division currently assigned to Foxman in New Smyrna Beach will be relocated to DeLand and assigned to Circuit Judge Hubert L. Grimes. Circuit Judge James R. Clayton will move to Grimes' unified family court division in DeLand. Circuit Judge Randell H. Rowe will take over Clayton's DeLand criminal division. Circuit Judge-Elect Matthew Foxman will preside over Rowe's family division in DeLand. The following assignments will be effective in Flagler County:
- Circuit Judge Raul A. Zambrano will rotate to the criminal division now assigned to Hammond. The candidate who wins the election for Hammond's position will be assigned to the civil/family division now assigned to Zambrano.
"These judicial rotations are routinely made in order to permit judges to become more familiar with different aspects of the law and to ensure the efficient operation of the court system within the Seventh Judicial Circuit," Chief Judge J. David Walsh said.
|judicial interview schedule.pdf||13.6 KB|
About the Blogger
Henry Frederick is editor/publisher of Headline Surfer, Florida's first 24/7 Internet newspaper, launched April 7, 2008 in New Smyrna Beach, and accessed via HeadlineSurfer.com, NSBNews.net & VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s.
View his blog archives here