After being delayed in putting someone on the bench as presiding municipal judge, the Killeen City Council appointed a longtime county prosecutor to the post at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The council unanimously voted in favor of appointing Mark D. Kimball to the bench. Kimball has practiced law for 32 years, and has been a prosecutor in Bell County for 20.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be considered for the position of presiding judge in the municipal court in Killeen,” Kimball said. “I have big shoes to fill with the retirement of Judge (William) Gibson, who I admire and respect to the utmost. I will do everything to not only follow in his footsteps, but hopefully be the best judge that Killeen has ever had.”
Kimball will begin acting as presiding municipal judge in mid-February.
At a Jan. 14 regular meeting, the council was forced to scratch making an appointment when the candidate selected in a 4-3 consensus during a closed-session meeting withdrew at the last minute.
In backing out, the candidate said he couldn’t meet the job requirement that he attain residency in Killeen within 180 days of being hired.
Subsequently, the council agreed at a closed workshop meeting Jan. 21 to appoint the runner-up candidate to the bench.
The presiding municipal judge oversees traffic offenses and other Class C misdemeanors, city ordinance violations and juvenile court.
The position was advertised with a salary of $102,000.
The search for a new presiding municipal judge came following Gibson’s announcement he was retiring upon his tenure expiring this month.
Gibson served as interim judge in June 2009 when Barbara Weaver retired, and he was appointed to the position by the council in December 2009.