Thursday, September 20, 2007

WE DO NOT DESERVE SUCH GOOD READERS

J. Miles Sweeney, longtime judge in Greene County, had his retirement announced today. He didn't get the chance to announce it himself; the governor's office issued a news release and buried the lede, saying Matt Blunt had appointed Bob Lawson, Jr., as a new circuit court judge -- and oh, by the way, Lawson replaces Sweeney, who resigned.

Resigned. Such a misleading word to describe the end of a jurist's career, especially one belonging to a guy like Sweeney. We had the pleasure of reporting on courts when Sweeney was on the bench, and the guy rocked. Nearly 15 years ago he was extolling the virtues of the future -- paperless court filings, wireless transmission of data, the use of bar codes and scanners to keep track of jury pools.

Now he's 62 and ready, he says, to retire. News of his departure was greeted with more than a little dismay, and the way Blunt's office handled the announcement was clumsy, at best. The hype-happy Blunt Administration didn't even have the savvy to give Sweeney a proper send-off -- and he belongs to the same Republican Party as the governor.

While chatting with Sweeney this afternoon, he said he keeps up with CHATTER. Your eyeballs have magnificent company.

Luck to you, judge. Be safe.

10 comments:

Sniderman said...

No one at the court was surprised... why was anyone else?vti

Jason said...

Have a good retirement, Judge!

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of appearing before Judge Sweeney many times and trying a couple of jury trials in his court. I cannot say enough good things about him as a judge. Good luck in your retirement, Judge.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed watching the coverage on the news last night at the Goboners expense. The boy blunder strikes again.

Anonymous said...

We salute you, Judge Sweeney, and we're glad to have two more months with you on the bench.

As for you, Little Boy Blunt, way to shit the nest.

Anonymous said...

Judge Sweeney has always been around my entire legal career, more often than not as presiding judge. I can't think of a better judicial officer.

I wish Judge Sweeney and his wife Karen all of the best.

And for Bob Lawson, I think he will serve us well.

Anonymous said...

Sniderman, you are mistaken. A lot of people at the court were surprised. Some people did know he was planning to retire. Some did not. I don't think anyone knew Blunt had named a replacement.

Anonymous said...

Boy Blunt has been extremely critical of the Missouri Judicial Commission for interviewing applicants in private without public scrutiny. So what does he do when he appoints a Judge? He takes applicants for the position in secret, interviews them in secret and then announces his appointment (a Republican candidate for Judge rejected by voters in Greene County last November) before anyone other then Rep[ublican insiders even know a vacancy exists. Is this the type of openess the Governor wants in the selection of Judges? If so the Judicial Commision will have to make their process mroe secret to satisfy him. The "act as I say not as I do boy Governor" strikes again.

Anonymous said...

Bob Lawson, while a decent guy, has zero, yes, zero, courtroom experience. Typical Blunt blunder.

Anonymous said...

I tried a jury trial with/against him in front of Judge Westbrooke. Bob won, I lost.

I can't speak to his other trips to the courtroom, but his experience is at least more than zero.