Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

19 apply for vacant county judge seat in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — A field of 19 is vying for a soon-to-be vacant Hernando County judge seat.

Many of the applicants hoping to take the seat left vacant by County Judge Donald Scagalione will be familiar to anyone who frequents Hernando's courthouse.

Four are assistant state attorneys based in Brooksville, two are assistant public defenders there and one is general counsel for the 5th Judicial Circuit.

Two more of the hopefuls will be familiar to Gov. Rick Scott's office. Private practice attorneys Thomas R. Eineman, 56, and John E. Napolitano, 51, were among the finalists for two circuit judge seats that opened in Hernando in recent months after judges sought transfers to Marion County. Scott ultimately chose Scaglione for one of those spots. Scott has yet to select from a list of recommended applicants for the other seat.

The assistant state attorneys in the field are Erin Corcoran Daly, 44; Shannon J. Laviano, 49; Donald "Sonny" McCathran, 41, who is the supervisor of the State Attorney's Office in Brooksville; and Matthew S. Pila, 31.

The assistant public defenders are Barbara-Jo Bell, 33; Michael Lamberti, 53, who recently transferred from Hernando to manage the Sumter office; LeAnn Mackey Barnes, 38; and Thomas "Devon" Sharkey, 46.

The other private practice attorneys are: Carl S. Back, 60; Michael J. Brannigan, 44; Edward T. LeFever, 56; Milan "Bo" Samargya, 47; Raymond Sotomayor, 52; and Cynthia E. Tolbert, 44.

Rounding out the list are Grace A. Fagan, 47, general counsel for the 5th Judicial Circuit; Isabel "Cissy" Boza Skipper, 54, a former judicial law clerk for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida; and Jason Smith, 36, a former assistant state attorney in Brooksville who currently is a faculty member at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

The 5th Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the applicants in Brooksville on Wednesday and send to Scott a short list of recommended candidates, said commission chairman Derek Schroth.

19 apply for vacant county judge seat in Hernando 01/02/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations


    NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

    Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel in April following reports that several women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. [Associated Press file]
  2. Conviction overturned 30 years later in neo-Nazi murder case


    TAMPA — A judge on Friday overturned the murder conviction of Dean McKee now that new evidence has raised doubt about McKee's guilt in a Tampa slaying that occurred nearly three decades ago when he was 16.

    In 1987, a St. Petersburg Times reporter interviewed Dean McKee for a story about young skinheads in Tampa. [Times | 1987]
  3. Experts have some theories on who's carrying out Seminole Heights killings


    The words serial killer tend to conjure an image of a middle-aged white man, likely a loner. He stabs or chokes or strangles, murdering up close for the thrill, straight out of central casting.

    A memorial was set up where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found shot to death in Seminole Heights. Some experts who have reviewed information in the case say that whoever is behind the three Seminole Heights killings may live in the area. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  4. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  5. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102