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November 1, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Chief Assistant State Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Wilson as Monroe County’s newest judge on Monday to fill the vacancy opened by former county Judge Wayne Miller’s retirement earlier this year. 

“I am very honored to have been appointed by Gov. Scott,” Wilson said. “I am also grateful to have been recommended by the members of our local Judicial Nominating Commission. I hope to fulfill the confidence they have placed in me.” 

Wilson, 49, did his undergraduate work at Rutgers University before earning his master’s degree from Yeshiva University and then his law degree from Pennsylvania State University. 

Wilson recently became a father and has been a prosecutor in Key West for 13 years. As a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, he also prosecutes federal crimes in the Keys. 

He was one of three applicants recommended for Scott’s review by the local 16th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission. The other applicants included private attorney Al Kelley, 55, and Paunece Scull, 38, the Director of Case Management for the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Wilson will likely be sworn in sometime this month as the date has yet to be set between Wilson and Chief Circuit Judge Mark Jones. 

Wilson told the commission during an interview in August that he plans on running for formal election in 2020 if he was selected by Scott.

County court judges hear the most common cases in the judiciary: Landlord and tenant disputes, small claims matters, foreclosures and a litany of misdemeanor criminal cases such as drunken driving and trespassing cases.

Circuit judges mostly preside over serious felony criminal cases, appeals from county courts, family law matters, and civil cases involving more than $15,000.

Miller, however, has presided over many circuit cases given the workload in Monroe County, including some of the higher-pro-file murder cases in recent years. He was on the bench for nearly 30 years.

The last time the commission convened was when former Circuit Judge David Audlin retired in 2014. Gov. Scott selected past president of the Monroe County Bar Association and Keys representative for the Florida Bar Board of Governors Tim Koenig as Audlin’s replacement.


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