The head of the Scott County attorney’s criminal division will replace a District Court judge who retired in May, well short of his mandatory retirement age and just months after winning reelection.
Suzanne Brown is the new judge for the 10th Judicial District. She will chamber in Anoka.
She takes over for retired Judge Daniel O’Fallon, a former Robins Kaplan litigator who was placed on the bench by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He was 49 years old at the time of his 2009 appointment and was most recently re-elected in November 2018. He resigned on May 10.
A call to the Anoka County District Court last month seeking explanation for the vacancy was referred to the Minnesota Judicial Branch. A spokesperson there could offer no information because O’Fallon is no longer a Judicial Branch employee.
Further calls this week generated no additional information.
Brown has led homicide, criminal sexual conduct, assault, property crime and drug-offense prosecutions in Scott County. She previously worked as an assistant in the county’s adult criminal prosecution division and was once a federal public defender on the Federal Defender’s Conflict Panel.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas and her juris doctorate from the Hamline University School of Law.
The 10 Judicial District includes Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties.
The Walz administration is working to fill another vacancy in the 10th Judicial District, as well, following the June 3 death of Anoka County District Court Judge Tammi A. Fredrickson.
Frederickson, a former Coon Rapids city attorney who spurred the formation of Anoka County’s veteran’s treatment court, succumbed to cancer at age 53.
The application deadline for her seat closed Thursday.
Walz also must fill the seat of Gary J. Pagliaccetti, a 1989 appointee of Gov. Rudy Perpich, who is retiring. To qualify, the Commission on Judicial Selection must receive application materials for that opening by close of business on July 29. Interviews will be held Aug. 29.