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The office of Attorney General-elect Chris Koster issued the following press release today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, December 29, 2008

CONTACT: Rebecca Kirszner…

JUDGE JOSEPH DANDURAND JOINS KOSTER TEAM AS DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

Cass County, MO – Attorney General-elect Chris Koster announced today that Judge Joe Dandurand will be joining the Attorney General’s Office as Deputy Attorney General.

“I have known Joe Dandurand for over a decade, and in that time, I have developed an enormous respect for his intellect and abilities as a jurist,” said Koster.  “Joe’s two decades on the bench make him uniquely qualified to lead and mentor the attorneys in our office.”

Dandurand has served 21 years as a trial judge, and now sits on Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals.  He is a four-time elected Democratic Judge presiding over Cass and Johnson Counties.  Dandurand also spent ten years on the State Judicial Education Committee and now serves as its co-Chair.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served the residents of Missouri’s 17th Judicial Circuit, and more recently the Western District of Missouri, in my capacity as a jurist for the past 22 years,” said Dandurand.  “The position of Deputy Attorney General of the State of Missouri presents new and exciting challenges.  I am now privileged to continue my career in public service by working with the chief law enforcement officer in our great state.”

“As a trial judge in Cass County, I have had a front row seat to Chris Koster’s work as a Prosecutor.  Naturally, in our roles as judge and prosecutor, we have not always agreed on all issues.  Through the years, however, we have developed a strong mutual professional and personal respect.  It has been a joy to watch Chris develop into a top prosecutor in the state and I look forward to continuing to work with him to promote the administration of justice in Missouri,” said Dandurand.

In the past few weeks, Koster has announced a slate of appointments in his office that will make the Attorney General’s office one of the most qualified in recent memory.  Alongside Deputy Attorney General Dandurand, Judge Ron Holliger, another former judge in the Western District Court of Appeals, will serve as Koster’s General Counsel.  St. Louis Attorney Robert Kenney, a partner in the firm Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus, will be Koster’s Chief of Staff.

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Joe Dandurand was appointed to the Western District Court of Appeals a little over a year ago. Yeah, he got an enthusiastic “attaboy” from Matt “baby” Blunt:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, December 14, 2007

Contact: Jessica Robinson…

Gov. Blunt Appoints Dandurand to Missouri Western District Court of Appeals

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Joseph P. Dandurand to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.          

“I congratulate Joseph Dandurand on his appointment as judge on the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals,” Blunt said.

Judge Dandurand, 51 of Warrensburg, is the presiding circuit judge 17th Judicial Circuit of Missouri. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Missouri State University and juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Judge Dandurand also served our country as a member of the Army.

Judge Dandurand will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Robert G. Ulrich.

[emphasis added]

Okay, it’d probably be impossible to exhibit any less enthusiasm in a gubernatorial press release.

There has been a notable absence of explanation from Governor Blunt and his office about why the vacancy in the 17th Judicial Circuit (created by the appointment of Joe Dandurand [a Democrat] to the appellate court) remained unfilled for a year.

Maybe it was because “baby” Blunt, in all his lame duckness, wanted to continue the saga.

Heh. And now Jay Nixon gets to appoint Joe Dandurand’s successor to the appellate court.