One circuit judge position has been filled while another remains vacant after a sudden retirement and a death left the 8th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in search of potential candidates.
Circuit Judge Johnny R. Hobbs died on Aug. 7, leaving his position open.
Hobbs served Bradford County from 1994 until his death, court operations consultant Kristina Velez said in an email.
As a county court judge, he presided over misdemeanors, municipal ordinance violations, county ordinance violations, criminal traffic, civil traffic infractions, county civil and small claims cases.
The Judicial Nominating Commission sent a list of attorneys to fill Hobbs’ position on Oct. 21 to Gov. Rick Scott. The attorneys for the judge seat include Mel Bessinger, Bo Samargya, John Cooper, Dan Sykes and R.B. Davis, Velez said.
John Tupps of the governor’s press office said the governor has until Dec. 2 to make a decision.
Circuit Judge David A. Glant retired in June after having served the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida for 10 years.
During Glant’s tenure, he presided over circuit civil, circuit criminal, dependency, domestic violence, family and juvenile cases throughout the six counties of the 8th Circuit, according to a news release. He was also administrative judge of the Circuit Criminal Division from July 2009 until his retirement.
His position was appointed to attorney Monica Brasington, who should start Dec. 16. Until then, Judge Denise R. Ferrero will preside over Alachua Felony Division I, Felony Adult Drug Court and Division V. Judge Phillip A. Pena is covering both Alachua County Court Civil Divisions.
Five months after announcing his retirement, Glant died at 63.
Glant’s wife, Casey Glant, said her husband was a person who respected law very deeply and was always professional.
“If you talk to some people, usually you’ll know how much people loved him,” Casey Glant said.
She said people could not tell her husband was a judge because he did not have that air about him.
“He was an average-day Joe type of guy,” she said.
Chief Judge Robert E. Roundtree Jr. said during his speech at Glant’s service on Oct. 30, that the former judge was a complex, fascinating man of many talents.
Roundtree said David Glant was an accomplished photographer, musician and cartoonist with a wonderful sense of humor.
“He looked at things differently than most. His cartoons have a ‘Farside’ quality,” Roundtree said. “Any judge can tell you of the small ‘Post-it note’ cartoons they found stuck on judicial benches in courtrooms throughout the circuit.”
Casey Glant said her husband was a religious man.
“When he was dying, he had no fears of death,” Casey Glant said. “He trusted the promise of Jesus Christ.”
David Glant’s mother Mildred Glant of Bremen, Indiana, his wife, his daughter Keri Glant and grandson Kieran Matthew Glant of Jacksonville, his stepson Alex Klausner of Gainesville and other family survive him. He was preceded in death by his son Matthew and father, Ernest Glant.