Bar Association members weigh in on candidates for Lake County judge
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent August 6, 2013 5:46PM
Updated: September 8, 2013 6:23AM
Results of the Lake County Bar Association surveys have been tabulated for the 11 lawyers seeking the nomination for Lake Superior Court-Criminal Division judge.
The survey asked bar association member lawyers to evaluate the candidates in the areas of competence, temperament and character. Those results were compiled into an overall score.
The vacancy was created with the transfer of Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. from the criminal division Room 4 to the juvenile division.
Michael N. Pagano, who sits in Lake County Superior Court County Division 3 small claims court, tied with defense attorney Samuel Cappas for an overall score in the well-qualified range. Kathleen Belzeski of Lake County Superior Court-County Division 2 small claims court, was second overall, followed closely by defense attorney Bruce D. Parent, also in the well-qualified range.
Defense attorney T. Edward Page and David Urbanski, a trial supervisor in Room 4 of the criminal division, tied for fourth overall, followed by defense attorney Timothy Ormes.
Hammond City Attorney Kristina Kantar was next overall, followed by defense attorney Randy Godshalk, deputy prosecutor Michael Toth and defense attorney Michael J. Lambert.
The results of the Monday survey were forwarded to the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission, which is scheduled to begin interviews at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
The interviews will be in the Lake County Board of Commissioners hearing room on the third floor at the government center administration building.
After the interviews, the commission will forward the names of three nominees to Gov. Mike Pence for appointment.