Chief Justice Beasley appoints chief judges before departure

(Photo: North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Donna Stroud)

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley announced the appointment of several chief judges of the appeals and district courts Tuesday in a news release. Donna Stroud will become Chief Judge of the state Court of Appeals, while Jimmy Love will head Judicial District 11 (Johnston, Lee and Harnett), Judge Toni King Judicial District 12 (Cumberland) and Judge Roy Wijewickrama Judicial District 30 (Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain).

Stroud, a Republican, was first elected to the Court of Appeals in 2006 following her two-year stint as a Wake County District Court judge and won re-election in 2014. Current Chief Judge Linda McGee was appointed by former Chief Justice Sarah Parker in 2014. McGee, 71, will reach the age limit for service as a judge in North Carolina next year and is set to retire.

Love was first appointed to the district court in 2000 by former Governor  Jim Hunt (D), while King was picked by former Governor Bev Perdue (D) in 2009, according to the news release. Wijewickrama was first elected in 2010.

Justice Beasley will have finished her term after losing a narrow reelection bid this year as these judges assume their new roles Jan 1, 2021.

Chief district judges are selected by the chief justice, and charged with assigning judges and magistrates, among many other responsibilities.

Republican Judge Chris Dillon of the state Court of Appeals will replace Judge Wanda G. Bryant, also on the Appeals Court, as the chairperson of the Judicial Standards Commission. Judge Bryant has served since 2014 before her retirement.

The commission investigates misconducts of judges and justices of the General Court across the appellate, superior court, and district court divisions. It recommended the censure of Appeals Court Judge Hunter Murphy earlier this month for failing to prevent a toxic work environment in his chamber.

Biographies of these judges can be found on the Judicial Branch’s website.

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