Sep. 14-The Free Press
MANKATO - Two public defenders and a deputy county attorney are finalists for a new judgeship in Blue Earth County.
Andrea Lieser, Kristine Weeks and Aaron Zurek are being recommended by the Commission on Judicial Selection. Gov. Tim Walz will pick the new judge.
Lieser is deputy Brown County attorney. She prosecutes felony and gross misdemeanor cases and serves on the Brown County Drug Court team. She previously was a public defender for the 5th Judicial District.
Weeks and Zurkek are both assistant public defenders in the 5th Judicial District, which encompasses southwestern Minnesota. They represent defendants in adult and juvenile criminal cases and in child protection matters.
Lieser previously held the same post in the 2nd Judicial District, covering Ramsey County.
Zurek previously was a staff attorney with the Minnesota Court Administrators Office, working on a new electronic filing system.
The new judge will be the fifth serving at the Blue Earth County Justice Center in Mankato. The state Legislature allocated additional funding for the courts system this spring.
If Walz appoints a new judge by November, the appointee will be up for election in November 2022.