Candidates for Seventh District judicial post announced

The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today (June 27) it is recommending three candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the current vacancy occurring in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District.

This vacancy was created upon the retirement of the Honorable Skipper J. Pearson. The district court judgeship will be chambered at Milaca in Mille Lacs County in the Seventh Judicial District.

The candidates are:

•Judge Richard Osburn. Osburn currently serves as the tribal judge for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe where he is responsible for hearing all civil, criminal, juvenile, and child welfare petitions, complaints and motions. Previously, he served as the Senior Deputy Solicitor General for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He also worked as an assistant prosecutor with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Judge Osburn is a former Division Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

•Karl Schmidt. Schmidt serves as a Senior Assistant Benton County Attorney where he is responsible for prosecuting the majority of adult felony cases assigned to the office. He previously worked as an Assistant Benton County Attorney and as an Assistant Public Defender with the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s office. Schmidt is a member of the Benton County Family Violence and Sexual Assault Council and is a former volunteer basketball coach with the Sartell Area Youth Basketball Association.

•Leonard Weiler. Weiler works as the Managing Attorney for the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s office where he manages public defender operations within Stearns County. He previously served as an Assistant District Public Defender and was the Head Law Clerk and Investigator for the Ramsey County Public Defender’s office. Weiler is a member of the Stearns County Drug and Domestic Violence Court Teams and is a member of the Sartell Rotary Club.

The Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties.

An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.