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Time running out to win a job investigating judges

The agency that polices judicial misconduct in Virginia is looking for a new legal staff.

Both lawyers who serve as staff for the state Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission are retiring, and the deadline for applying for the job of commission counsel is Monday.

Current JIRC counsel Donald R. Curry is stepping down after nearly 12 years on the job. Assistant counsel Kenneth Montero retired March 31 after more than 20 years.

The new hire will work as assistant counsel and assume the top job when Curry retires Jan. 1.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley B. Cavedo, who serves as chair of JIRC, said the agency hopes to narrow the pool of candidates through the spring and make a final selection by the end of summer.

“We’ve had numerous excellent candidates apply,” Cavedo said in an interview April 2.

The JIRC counsel is hired by the seven-member commission. The salary range is $142,329 to $158,134.

The JIRC is made up of three judges, two lawyers, and two non-lawyers. The members are elected by the Virginia General Assembly for four-year terms.

In light of frequent but unsuccessful efforts to increase the mandatory judicial retirement age in Virginia, Cavedo was briefly questioned at a recent legislative session about age-related problems among judges.

Cavedo said disability issues for judges have arisen among judges far younger than the current cap of 70 years. Problems tend to arise for judges around age 60, whether they involve mental concerns, alcohol, or other issues, Cavedo said. He said he rarely sees age-related disability among his colleagues.

Cavedo said the JIRC investigated a concern that one judge was having hearing difficulties. A court observer hired to check said the problem was not as severe as reported. “One of his hearing aids may have failed,” Cavedo said.

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