A longtime local attorney has taken the bench as Douglas County's new pro tem judge.
Chief Judge Robert Fairchild said Jim George was appointed to the position, after a six-member committee interviewed more than a half-dozen candidates.
The committee consisted of three judges, one attorney and two people appointed by the Douglas County Commission.
The group narrowed the field of candidates to three. George was chosen after Douglas County's district judges re-interviewed those three candidates.
George received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1988.
He went into private practice in March 1992 and has served on Douglas County's criminal appointment panel, the juvenile panel and the U.S. District court appointment panel.
Fairchild also said George has worked as a small claims judge in Douglas County on a volunteer basis since September 2003.
The pro tem judge handles traffic court, small claims and criminal first appearances.
The position had been vacant since April, when Peggy Kittel was appointed district judge.
The pro tem position is a one-year appointment. The county has only guaranteed funding of the position until January 2010.