The circuit judges of Norfolk have appointed lawyer Joan E. Mahoney to a general district judgeship.
Mahoney had been nominated by the House of Delegates for the position, but she failed to gain Senate support in the 2013 General Assembly.
An April article in The Virginian-Pilot noted concerns about her connection to the law firm of Poole Mahoney PC, which has a contract for court collections work in Norfolk. Mahoney was divorced in March from firm partner Reeves Mahoney, with the divorce decree reciting that Mahoney waived any interest in the law firm.
House Courts Committee chair David Albo told the paper the divorce alleviated his concerns about any perceived conflict of interest.
The appointment Wednesday by the Norfolk circuit judges is effective until the 2014 Assembly session. To remain on the bench, Mahoney will have to be elected by the legislators.
A former Poole Mahoney attorney, former Del. Sal Iaquinto, was named by circuit judges to the general district bench in Virginia Beach. He officially donned the robe Monday.
Other alumni of the firm include Gov. Bob McDonnell and Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Glen A. Huff.