McCrory replaces two Easley appointees as special superior court judges

01/08/2014 5:37 PM

01/08/2014 5:38 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory has replaced two more of the state’s special superior court judges, whose terms ended Wednesday.

The departing judges are William Pittman, one-time counsel to Gov. Jim Hunt and a former state Utilities Commission member, and Shannon Joseph, who was an administrative law judge and is the daughter-in-law of former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand.

Then-Gov. Mike Easley appointed Pittman and Joseph on his last day in office in 2009. They were sworn in at 11 p.m. by a judge who was on his way to Gov. Bev Perdue’s inaugural ball.

Replacing them are Beecher Reynolds Gray of Durham, who has been an administrative law judge, and Martin B. “Marty” McGee of Concord, who is a district court judge. They will be sworn in on Thursday.

McCrory appointed three other special superior court judges last year.

There are 15 of the special judges, who hear cases statewide; three of them handle complex business cases. Some Republican senators introduced a bill last year to eliminate the positions of the 12 other judges -- because they are elected statewide and not accountable to local voters, and because they were appointed by Democrats -- but the proposal failed.

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