A newly appointed administrative law judge will hear cases in Haywood County for the first time beginning next month.
David Sutton will open the first Waynesville office. The expansion to 11 judges was authorized in the state budget this year.
The budget directed that office space and any support staff must not incur any cost to the state, so that money will have to come from existing funds. Sutton will set up shop in the county’s Justice Center, where room is being made for him and a paralegal.
Sutton, a civil attorney, was chosen by Chief Administrative Law Judge Julian Mann III after a panel earlier this month narrowed 55 applicants to 10, who were each interviewed.
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Administrative law judges work for an independent state agency, the Office of Administrative Hearings, hearing cases involving state agencies, including state workers who have been disciplined.
The judges make $100,617 a year. Eight of them work in Raleigh, and there is one judge in Charlotte and another in High Point.