David Mercer has been appointed as a judge for the Springfield Municipal Court.
Mercer got the nod from City Council at its meeting last night, according to a news release. Mercer, who starts Dec. 1, will have a four-year term that expires Nov. 14, 2026.
"David is a person of very high integrity and brings a significant amount of legal experience to our municipal court," City Manager Jason Gage said in the release.
Mercer has worked since 1999 as first assistant federal public defender for the Western District of Missouri. Prior to that, he was in private practice and served in the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office in Springfield.
In joining the Springfield Municipal Court, Mercer succeeds Wendy Garrison, who became chief judge this summer after the death of Todd Thornhill.
“The opportunity to serve as a Springfield Municipal Court judge is both a huge blessing and tremendously humbling," Mercer said in the release. "Judges personify our constitutional system and the rule of law. They ensure fairness and participate in the process of achieving justice. I can’t imagine a higher calling or a more exciting opportunity to serve Springfield.”
Mercer will earn a salary of $126,360 per year, according to the release.
The Springfield Municipal Court, which has two judges appointed by council, has an annual budget of $2 million, or 2% of the city's general fund, according to its website. The court, a division of the 31st Judicial Circuit in Greene County, employs roughly 30 people.
The Springfield Municipal Court hears cases including driving while intoxicated, common assault and probation hearings, according to the website.
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