Three people have applied to replace Cass County Superior Court Judge Richard A. “Rick” Maughmer, who died on Sept. 16.
They are former Cass County Superior Court Judge Douglas Cox, current Carroll County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Hawkins and current Cass County Prosecutor Lisa Swaim.
Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to appoint one of the three to the Cass County Superior Court II bench before Dec. 15, according to his Press Secretary Rachel Hoffmeyer.
The governor’s office accepted applications from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30, and Holcomb intends to make any judicial appointments within 75 days. State statute does not mandate a deadline for appointing judges.
“All of the applicants will be interviewed,” Hoffmeyer stated by email.
Because of rules regarding judicial conduct, one candidate declined to comment directly. The other two didn’t return calls.
Cox received his Bachelors from the University of Notre Dame in 1976 and is and a 1979 graduate of Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington, according to Pharos-Tribune records.
He served as superior court judge in Cass County for 12 years and in 2012 ran for the Cass County Circuit Judge position, losing to incumbent Leo T. Burns.
He has also worked as an administrative law judge for the Indiana Employment Security Office and as the staff counsel for First National Bank of Logansport. Cox is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and National Judicial College.
As a judge, Cox helped start the Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections program.
Swaim was first elected as Cass County Prosecutor in 2014 and before that served as Cass County chief deputy prosecutor for 14 years.
In a November 2017 press release announcing her run for re-election, she stated that her entire career has been in prosecution since working as an intern while finishing law school in 1994.
Her biography on in.gov states that she graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Ball State University in 1991, having focused on political science and Asian studies.
She attended Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis and worked as an intern in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
After graduation, she worked as a Marion County deputy prosecuting attorney in May 1995.
Hawkins was away for the end of week, according to his office.
His office had no biographical information about him, and none was found online.
Since Maughmer’s death, two senior judges have filled in at Cass County Superior Court II — Leo Burns and Tom Perone — both retired Cass County judges.
Cass County Superior Court I Judge James Muehlhausen and Cass County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Kitts have also taken on the higher level felonies so that cases have one judge overseeing them, according to the Superior Court II office.
Superior Court II kept all the infraction and misdemeanor cases, which are in the court system for shorter spans.
In September, Muehlhausen said that “for the present, everything that’s on the docket will remain.” When the new appointment is made, the judges will talk about case allocation, he added.
The 65-year-old Maughmer died at 8:26 a.m. on Sept. 16 in what appeared to be an accident while he was making automobile repairs. Emergency workers found him pinned under the vehicle in the barn on his property, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Maughmer was elected to the Cass County Superior Court II bench in 2001. He began his law career in Logansport in 1979 after earning both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Nebraska, according to an article in the September 2012 “Indiana Court Times.”
In 1983, he started working part-time in the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office, and Gov. Robert D. Orr appointed Maughmer Cass County Prosecutor in 1986, the article stated.
The term for Maughmer’s position ends Dec. 31, 2024, according to Hoffmeyer. Whomever Holcomb chooses to finish out Maughmer’s term will be up for election then.