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Associate judge to take over Taylor's seat

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ Pittsburg County Associate District Judge Thomas Bartheld has been assigned to serve as the acting judge for Pittsburg and McIntosh counties.

Chief Justice Joe Watt of the Oklahoma Supreme Court assigned Bartheld to take over the seat after Judge Steven Taylor was appointed to the state Supreme Court last week.

Bartheld is to serve as the acting District 18 judge until Gov. Brad Henry appoints someone to fill the office.

Henry's spokesman, Paul Sund, said notices of the District 18 vacancy must be posted in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, then applications will be sent to the Judicial Nominating Commission.

The application period runs approximately for a month, Sund said.

After the commission receives the applications, its 13 members will review them and send the top three candidates to Henry, who will make the final decision.

Bartheld has said he intends to file for the District 18 office. Meanwhile, in papers filed with the state Supreme Court, Watt designated Bartheld as the judge responsible for scheduling and assigning other judges to cases and dockets in both Pittsburg and McIntosh counties until the new presiding judge is selected.

Several other judges will share Taylor's workload before another judge is selected to fill his spot.
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