WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The city of Williams has been ordered to fill the Williams Municipal Court with a magistrate until a presiding magistrate is hired.
Since the Williams Municipal Court has been without a magistrate for 90 days, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales issued an administrative order that gave Mark Moran, presiding judge of the Coconino County Superior Court, administrative control and oversight of day-to-day operations of the Williams Municipal Court.
The Williams Municipal Court has been without a magistrate since Dec. 31 when the Williams City Council voted to not rehire Rob Krombeen as the city’s magistrate after he requested a salary increase.
According to Mayor John Moore, a committee is in the process of selecting a magistrate and is looking at possible other locations for the court. Williams Municipal Court currently is located in the Williams Justice Court building.
“We have a committee within the council that is in the process of making a recommendation to the entire city council on whether we want to stay in the current court building, whether we want to move it, and whether we want to choose from the applicants we’ve got,” Moore said. “Or maybe we look further for more applicants.”
According to Article VI, Section 3, of the Arizona Constitution, the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona exercise administrative supervision over all the courts.
Moore said he wasn’t surprised by the court order and admitted the city has taken too long to fill the position.
“We have taken longer than we should trying to reach the decision,” he said. “It is court ordered, Judge Moran issued it and we will definitely follow the court order and do what we are asked to do.”
Bale’s order stated that Moran shall assign judicial officers as needed to conduct the court business and is authorized to issue orders necessary for the court to operate properly.
Moran appointed Krombeen as the magistrate until a presiding magistrate is hired. Krombeen will be paid by the city under the same terms and conditions and in the same amount as he is being paid as the Justice of the Peace.
Moran also appointed Sharon Yates with Court Administration for the Superior Court in Coconino County and Jennifer Carter with the Williams Justice Court to act as liaisons with the Williams Municipal Court to conduct necessary administrative business and report directly to the Superior Court administrator and Moran.
The order will remain in effect until a successor assume duties as the presiding magistrate.
Any costs associated with the operation, including cost for judicial officers, will be assumed by the city.
“I would not disagree that 90 days is a long time in making the decision for an appointment for our magistrate,” Moore said. “We’ve been without one for 90 days.”