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TOPEKA—The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene by videoconference at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25, to review nominees and schedule interviews to fill a district judge vacancy in Johnson County created by District Judge Sara Welch’s July 1 retirement.

The meeting is open to the public, and anyone who wants to listen may request instructions by emailing

The 10th Judicial District is composed of Johnson County.

The nominees for district judge are:

  • Joshua K Allen, Prairie Village, city prosecutor for several cities;

  • Jenifer J. Ashford, Olathe, district magistrate judge in Johnson County;

  • Krishnan Christopher Jayaram, Overland Park, private practice;

  • Michael F. McCulloch, Olathe, Johnson County chief public defender;

  • Michael Richard-Tel Parrett, Shawnee, private practice;

  • Vanessa M. Riebli, Olathe, Johnson County district attorney’s office section chief;

  • Jacquelyn E. Rokusek, Shawnee, private practice;

  • Karen L. Torline, Shawnee, municipal court judge for several cities; and

  • Gary J. Willnauer, Stilwell, private practice.

A nominee for district judge must be:

  • at least 30 years old;

  • a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least five years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school; and

  • a resident of Johnson County at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The nominating commission will convene to interview nominees Wednesday, July 8, in the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry St., Rooms 202-204, Olathe. Interviews are open to the public. Interview times will be announced following the June 25 meeting.

The commission will select from three to five nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. If there are not three nominees who reside in the district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the judicial district. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

After serving one year in office, the new judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Wilson as the nonvoting chair; Thomas Bath, John Parisi, and Samuel Turner Sr., Leawood; Joe Beveridge, Stephene Moore, and Annabeth Surbaugh, Lenexa; Laura McConwell, Mission; Doug Brownlee, James Griffith, and Stephen Tatum, Olathe; Rick Guinn, Kevin Moriarty, and Greg Musil, Overland Park; and Josie Herrera, Shawnee.

Find out more about the nominating commission at

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