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Wednesday, July 7, 2004


County magistrate judge appointed

Bannock magistrate will move to Hailey court

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 Bellevue.

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.


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