County magistrate judge appointed
Bannock magistrate will move to Hailey
By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer
The 5th Judicial District Magistrates
Commission announced Thursday, July 1, that Judge R. Ted Israel will succeed
former Magistrate Judge Robert Elgee. The vacancy came about this spring when
Elgee was appointed to Blaine Countyís Fifth District bench in Hailey.
"I have the experience of knowing what its
like to grow up in the Wood River Valley, put together with my legal experience
to make me the best candidate," Israel, the current magistrate judge for Bannock
County, explained to the commission during his interview.
Seventeen attorneys from Idaho and
Washington applied for the magistrate position. The commission selected five
candidates who were interviewed in Shoshone. The five interviewees included
Daniel Dolan of Ketchum and Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas of
Israel, 47, will arrive from Pocatello,
where he has served as a magistrate judge for Bannock County since 1992.
"Pocatello is my residence; I have always
considered Blaine County my home," Israel explained to the commission. Israel is
a graduate of Wood River High School. He earned his bachelorís degree from the
College of Idaho and juris doctorate from the University of Denver.
Before becoming a judge, Israel was for
nine years a partner in the McDermott Law Firm in Pocatello. He is also an
adjunct professor at Idaho State University, where he teaches "Politics and the
Administration of Justice."
His decision to leave his position as a
magistrate for Bannock County evolved from a desire to return to the valley.
"Thirteen months ago my family made the
decision to return to the Wood River Valley."
His family has already moved to the
valley, and the children are in school here.
Israel assured the commission he intends
to bring the best of what he has learned as a magistrate in Bannock County and
combine the experience with the good things in place in Blaine County.
Speaking to his role as magistrate in the
valley, Judge Israel said he believes a judge should play an active role in the
community. "Itís important for a judge to be visible to youth," he said.
Israel will serve for an 18-month
probation period. Following this probation period, he will be eligible to run
for a four-year term in the Blaine County retention election.
The commission also selected Casey
Robinson of Twin Falls as the new magistrate judge for Gooding County.