Four finalists—none from Sanpete—picked for Ephraim, Moroni judges

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

8/3/2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY—Four nominees have been chosen as Ivo Peterson’s potential replacements as judge for the Ephraim City and Moroni City justice courts, and while all of them have experience with the law, not one of them is a Sanpete resident.

Communications director for the Utah Administrative Office of the Courts, Geoffrey Fattah, recently released a list of the Sanpete County Nominating Commission’s four nominees for the spots left vacant in the two cities when Peterson retired in June.

One of the four nominees is Mark Kay McIff, who lives and operates a private law practice in Richfield. McIff has already been chosen to replace Peterson in Fairview, Fountain Green and Spring City, and is also a justice court judge in Piute and Sevier counties.

The remaining three candidates are all from Utah County.

Larry W. Evans, an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University and a Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputy, is another of the four nominees. Evans is a resident of Springville.

Rodney William Rivers is general counsel at First Colony Mortgage and a resident of Lindon.

Stephen William Whiting, J.D., a lawyer with Whiting and Jardine, LLC. He is a resident of Vineyard.

Ephraim City Mayor Richard Squire says he doesn’t think it’s much of a drawback that none of the nominees are from Sanpete. According to Squire, knowledge of the justice court system is the most important factor, and part-time judging positions are often held by out-of-county judges.

“It’s tough in these rural counties,” Squire said of the rarity of qualified local judges. “As long as a judge makes themselves available for the scheduled court meetings, it tends to work out fine.”

According to Fattah, a public comment period closes today, before the mayors of Ephraim and Moroni select their final candidates.

Mayors have 30 days to make their selection, but each municipality’s city council must ratify the appointment. The mayor and council’s choice is then passed along to the Utah Judicial Council to certify the appointment.

Written comments about the nominees may be submitted through the end of today to melisses@utcourts.gov.