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Governor Dayton Appoints Members to Commission on Judicial Selection

April 01, 2011

Saint Paul, MN — Governor Mark Dayton today announced the appointment of First, Fourth and Eighth Judicial District members to the Commission on Judicial Selection. 
 
Governor Dayton appointed the following: 
 
Nancy Platto, who resides in Chaska, is a public defender for the First Judicial District. Previously, Platto worked as a prosecutor for Scott County and also practiced family law. She has served as President of the Eighth District Bar Association and as a member of the Carver County Justice Advisory Committee. Platto is appointed as a First District Attorney member to the Commission. 
 
Mary Stapleton, who resides in Chaska, is involved with the Chaska Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission. Stapleton has served on the Guardian ad Litem Board for the past 16 years and is a long-serving member of the Children’s Justice Initiative. She is also a member and past President of the Eastern Carver County League of Women Voters. Stapleton is appointed as a First District Non-Attorney member to the Commission. 
 
Martin Costello, who resides in Minneapolis, is a partner at Hughes and Costello. He is also appointed as the Legal Advisor to the Minnesota Teamsters on Judicial Endorsements. Costello serves on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedures and is Chair of the Criminal Courts Study Commission. Costello is appointed as a Fourth District Attorney member to the Commission. 
 
Sondra Samuels, who resides in Minneapolis, is President of the PEACE Foundation, the operational management arm of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Samuels co-founded NAZ to close the achievement gap and make sure that all kids are college-ready.  She also served on the board of KIPP Stand Academy and Catalyst Community Partners. Samuels is appointed as a Fourth District Non-Attorney member to the Commission. 
 
John Lindstrom, who resides in New London, is a former Eighth District Court Judge who now serves as mediator and arbitrator at the Gilbert Mediation Center. Lindstrom is also a former Minnesota State Representative. He also serves on the Willmar Community Foundation Board of Directors and is a senior member of the Minnesota District Judges Association. Lindstrom is appointed as an Eighth District Attorney member to the Commission 
 
Paula O’Loughlin, who resides in Morris, is a Political Science professor at the University of Minnesota Morris and is Director of the Academic Center for Enrichment. O’Loughlin is the current Chair of the University Senate Judiciary Committee. She was the University of Minnesota’s 2007 nominee for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CASE) National Professor of the Year Award. O’Loughlin is appointed as an Eighth District Non-Attorney member to the Commission.
 
The Commission on Judicial Selection recruits and reviews judicial candidates for judgeship vacancies that occur within district courts and for openings that take place during the term of a judge on the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. The Commission then puts forth three to five recommendations to the Governor for consideration. 49 members are appointed to the Commission; 27 are appointed by the Governor, and 22 by the Supreme Court. 9 members serve in an at-large capacity while 4 members serve per each judicial district. The Governor had previously appointed the At-Large and Third District  members to the Commission.
 
For more information on the Commission, please visit our judicial page at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial.jsp.