CAMP VERDE-Long-time deputy county attorney and former Justice of Peace Joseph Butner will return to the Verde Valley to sit behind the bench here.
Butner has been appointed to fill the post as Yavapai Superior Court judge, pro-tempore-B on a temporary basis until permanently filled. The deadline for applications for the position is Jan. 15.
The seat has been something of a musical chair...or bench. It was filled for years by Judge Warren Darrow, who handled most of the Verde Valley criminal cases.
Darrow stepped down from the criminal docket, moving the Pro-tem B judgeship to the Prescott Courts where he picked up a civil caseload.
After his retirement, the bench was occupied by Ethan Wolfinger, also a long-time deputy county attorney.
Now, Wolfinger has also retired, and Butner has been moved into the position.
Since Butner lives in the Verde Valley, he and Judge Patricia Trebesch are exchanging courts. Pro-tem B has again become a Verde court with Butner. Trebesch moves to Prescott and becomes as the Pro-tem A judge.
The court administrator's office says most Verde cases will remain in the Verde.