Gov. Mark Dayton appointed three judges in the 9th Judicial District.
Judge John R. Hawkinson will be replaced by Korey Wahwassuck, who will be chambered at Grand Rapids in Itasca County.
Judge Michael J. Kraker will be replaced by Anne M. Rasmusson, who will be chambered at Mahnomen in Mahnomen County.
Judge John P. Smith will be replaced by Jana M. Austad, who will be chambered at Walker in Cass County.
Hawkinson and Kraker are retiring. Smith was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Austad is the managing attorney in the Brainerd Regional Office of the Minnesota Public Defender. She manages the assistant public defenders in Aitkin, Cass, and Crow Wing counties. Previously, she was an attorney at Kief, Fuller, Baer and Wallner, practicing general litigation with a concentration in workers’ compensation, township law, and family law. Austad received her B.A. from Augsburg College and her J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law. She resides in Baxter with her family.
Rasmusson is a partner at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson where she practices primarily in family law and litigation matters. Prior to her being named partner, Rasmusson served as a law clerk and associate attorney at the firm. Rasmusson received her B.A. from St. Catherine University, her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law, and her M.A. from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
She previously served as the chair of the 14th District Bar Association. She resides in Crookston with her family.
Wahwassuck is an associate Judge of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court, where she hears cases and drafts opinions. Previously, she was a tribal attorney for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and, prior to that, she was a solo practitioner in Missouri and Kansas. Wahwassuck received her Bachelors of Journalism from the University of Missouri and her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law.
Wahwassuck helped found and preside over the Leech Lake-Cass County-Itasca County Welness Courts, the first joint tribal-state jurisdiction courts in the nation.
She resides in Solway with her family.