Higgins named new judge

The long-running race for the Albemarle circuit judge seat is over, and former prosecutor Cheryl Higgins has been chosen, according to Delegate Rob Bell's office. That's bad news for Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos who had advanced, over the non-endorsement of the local bar, to Richmond interviews. Higgins, now in private practice, becomes the first woman to sit on the bench in the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Even two days ago, it was unclear that the 12 legislators from the 16th district would be able to get their act together to choose a judge before the General Assembly adjourns. Higgins, Camblos, and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell were invited to Richmond Tuesday for a perfunctory qualification before the Courts of Justice committee.

Bell will release a statement confirming Higgins' appointment later today.

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14 comments

I am grateful for this decision that has been made. I know that may citizens, including myself, were in contact with various elected officials and I believe that those elected officials, in the end, were responsive to the concerns expressed by citizens.

They tried their damnedest to justify appointing Camblos, but, in the end, I think they couldn't strategize a way to save face if they appointed such a clearly incompetent person to be a Circuit Court judge. Congratulations to Cheryl Higgins.

Congrats to Cheryl Higgins! Very professional, very competent woman.

It is good to know that citizens are sometimes heard. Congratulations to Cheryl Higgins.

By God, I figured the "good ole boy" had it sewn up. But there is some justice left in the world.

The next race to watch is the County Sheriff's election. Will the "good ole city police department boy" Chip Harding have it handed to him on a silver platter? Or will a qualified county employee/candidate that has served the County of Albemarle for many decades be worthy of the position (Larry Claytor)? I despise people like Chip Harding trying to create 2nd, 3rd and 4th retirement checks for themselves at the taxpayer's expense. They laugh at us on the way to the bank each month making the deposits.

CHERYL, GOOD WORK! YOU GO, GIRL!

Aren't most "Good ole boys" people who have "served the [County, City, Institution} for many decades?

I do not reside in Charlottesville or Albemarle County, but I have noticed in C'Ville and elsewhere that the only differnce between the "Old Boy Network" and the long-tenured employee is whether someone happens to like the person in question.

That is the nice thing about Sheriff's elections. The voters decide.

Anyone know what Cheryl's politics are like?

Republican.

Otherwise she wouldn't have made it before the committee. Only Republicans were invited.

I seem to recall that some of the previous appointees, Bob Downer and Tim Sanner each had some ties to the Democratic Party but were nevertheless appointed to the bench since the Republicans have controlled the legislature. Similarly, many of the judges who are re-appointed at the conclusion of their respective terms had ties in the past to the Democrats.

I do not dispute the patronage system often works its worst in the appointment of judges. This was as true in the era of democratic dominance as it is now. For once, I would like the "Ins" to complain about it. When the "Outs" complain it is dismissed as sour grapes.

Downer was appointed with the help of a Republican delegate who showed leadership and courage.

In regards to Chip Harding - he is a very hard working man who has served for years in the City police department. I don't think the amount of money our civil servant earn - even when retiring and taking on another position -- is enough to make anyone "laugh at us on the way to the bank".

Steve is wrong about the state retirement system -- there is only one check from the VRS. It will increase depending on the number of years of service and the amount of money contributed, but there are not multiple checks as there are for double dippers who have retired from the military and then retire from a state job.

Naomi, the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle do NOT have the same retirement system. Chip Harding will be drawing a city retirement check when he retires this year. Once arriving at the county, if elected, he will be working on the state retirement system then and be compensated by the state system later when he retires once again after being Sheriff for a while.

Ed Robb, how many retirement checks does he get at the end of the year when he retires? FBI federal retirement? Senatorial state retirement check? Albemarle County Sheriff's Office state retirement?

Hey, it's just our tax money, I don't care. I personally know one former city employee who never attempts to show his laughter while carring his $69,000 a year retirement to the bank.