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Applicants line up for Judge Edwards' seat

One sitting judge and 13 lawyers _ most with strong ties to Citrus County _ have applied to replace Circuit Judge William Edwards when he retires Aug. 31.

Among the applicants are Patricia B. Vitter, a Citrus County School Board member; Charles Horn, who ran a high-profile though unsuccessful campaign to unseat County Judge Gary Graham in 1990; and Marion County Judge Hale Stancil, who has been on the county bench since 1982.

The local Judicial Nominating Commission is scheduled to meet Monday to begin sifting through the 14 applications, which detail the applicants' legal and academic backgrounds, financial disclosures and references.

The commission meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the law office of Fitzpatrick and Fitzpatrick. Portions of the meeting will be open to the public.

The commission eventually will interview some of the applicants, then send a list of three people it recommends to Gov. Lawton Chiles, who will select someone to fill Edwards' seat.

Edwards has said he will retire Aug. 31. His successor will sit in Inverness but will be able to handle cases throughout the 5th Judicial Circuit, which includes Marion, Hernando, Sumter and Lake counties.

Here is a brief rundown of the applicants:

James H. Dysart, 42, a Brooksville resident and assistant state attorney in Inverness, earned his law degree from Florida State University.

Charles Horn, who turns 40 today, lives in Beverly Hills and practices civil and criminal law in Crystal River. He is a former prosecutor and candidate for county judge.

Stephen D. Hurm, 37, an Inverness lawyer and former prosecutor, also worked for Citrus Hills Investment Properties. He is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law.

Eugene Hayle Johnson, 49, a former prosecutor now in private practice in Ocala, works exclusively for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services in child support enforcement. He has a University of Florida law degree.

William Jackson Jordan, 39, a Bushnell resident, has been a Pasco County prosecutor since 1985. His degree is from Cumberland Law School.

Stephen P. Lee, 50, an Ocala lawyer and county hearing officer for Citrus County, has a practice that includes civil and criminal work. He is a former Marion County attorney. His law degree is from the University of Miami.

Paul R. Norville, 30, an Inverness resident, has been a prosecutor since 1987. He worked in the Inverness state attorney's office and now is supervisor in the Sumter County office. His law degree is from Nova University.

Fred A. Ohlinger, 45, is an Inverness lawyer and former prosecutor. A graduate of the Walter F. George Law School at Mercer University, Ohlinger was in private practice, then joined the state attorney's office. He is back in private practice handling civil and criminal cases.

Gerald Lee Pickett, 52, a former prosecutor, has a private practice in Inverness that is split between civil and criminal work. He has a law degree from the University of Dayton.

Reggie David Sanger, 43, lives in Inverness but practices law in Fort Lauderdale. The Nova University School of Law graduate concentrates on bankruptcy cases in federal court and is the husband of Mary Ellen Shoemaker, Heatherwood activist against mining in that area.

Donald E. Scaglione, 33, a former private lawyer, has been a prosecutor since 1990. He works in Brooksville and handles first-degree murder cases in Citrus. His law degree is from Drake University.

Hale Stancil has been a county judge in Marion County since 1982. Before then, he was a private lawyer. He has a law degree from Stetson University College of Law.

Patricia B. Vitter, 41, is an Inverness lawyer and Citrus County School Board member. Her practice includes civil and criminal work. She has a Florida State University law degree.

Elizabeth A. W. Zettler, 51, of Williston practices civil law. She earned her law degree from the University of Florida.