A funding push by area legislators has saved judgeships vacated by retiring judges in the 23rd District Circuit Court and David Carson was one of two area judges elected to the available seats. Carson will replace retiring Judge Jonathan Apgar. Leisa Ciaffone was selected as a judge in Roanoke’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court replacing Judge John Ferguson.
Carson, who is 49 and a member of the Johnson, Ayers & Mathews Law Firm, will assume the bench on July 1. Senators John Edwards and Ralph K. Smith jointly supported Carson for the vacancy.
Carson who has served as Roanoke City School Board Chairman for 8 years said he will leave the school board “with a very heavy heart.”
In an email Carson said, “I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of being a circuit court judge for the 23rd judicial circuit. I have large shoes to fill, and I pledge that I will do my utmost to uphold the strong tradition of public service that has been established by our judges. At the same time, on behalf of the Roanoke valley legal community, I am grateful to our area legislators (Senators Smith and Edwards; Delegates Habeeb, Head, and Ware) for their tireless efforts to preserve the judgeships that Leisa Ciaffone and I have been selected to fill.”
Replacement of the retiring judges was in jeopardy until Governor McDonnell was successfully lobbied by local legislators and resulted in $1.8 million of additional funding. The judicial elections pushed the House into the early morning hours on the final day of the special session.
Vice Chair Todd Putney is expected to take the School Board Chairmanship with Roanoke City Council selecting an additional member to the school board.
Six applications for the school board have been received for the current open slots. City Council may use these applications to fill the additional opening. Citizens wishing to advocate for any of the applicants will be heard at a public hearings on April 15 at 7:00 p.m. Applicant interviews will be conducted in open session during the 2:00 p.m. meeting on the same day.
The applicants include the two current school board members Annette Lewis and Suzanne Moore. The other four applicants are Narad Kadariya, Charles R. Medlinger, Mary B. Nash and Maxyne D. Trumpeter.
– By Valerie Garner