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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Lightfoot as a judge in the 6th Judicial District.
Lightfoot, 40, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Judge Patrick Grady last year after 25 years on the court.
'Justin Lightfoot has been an excellent prosecutor,” Acting U.S. Attorney Sean Berry said Friday. 'The Department of Justice's loss is truly the state bench's gain. Iowans will greatly benefit from Judge Lightfoot's experience, intelligence, demeanor and sense of fairness.”
Lightfoot said Friday it is an 'honor and privilege” to be appointed.
'I am so grateful for the confidence the (Judicial) Nominating Commission and the governor had in me, and I look forward to getting started soon,” he said.
Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Lars Anderson said Friday that Lightfoot has 30 days to make the transition from his federal position to the state court, according to court rules.
The 13 judges in the 6th District hear civil and criminal cases in six counties - Linn, Johnson, Benton, Iowa, Jones and Tama.
Lightfoot has been a federal prosecutor for 11 years and now serves as the criminal division chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa. Before that, he was the office's offender re-entry coordinator.
Lightfoot graduated from Iowa State University and earned his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Anderson, the district's chief judge, said the district also is taking applications to fill a new position for an associate district judge.
Every four years, a judicial district can reallocate the number of magistrates it has and 'trade in” those positions for an associate district judge position. The 6th District will lose three part-time magistrates to gain a full-time associate district judge.
There will be nine associate district judges once the position is filled.
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