AUGUSTA, Maine – Gov. Paul LePage’s ex-counsel, a former attorney general and a longtime homicide prosecutor were among the lawyers nominated Friday to fill seven judicial vacancies to replace retiring judges.
LePage announced in a news release that he had nominated Daniel I. Billings of Bowdoinham, who has been a District Court judge for two years and served as the governor’s attorney in 2011, to the Superior Court bench. He also nominated ex-Attorney General William J. Schneider of Durham and Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson of Athens to be District Court judges.
“As governor, I have the utmost respect and have been impressed with the high quality work of the judicial branch,” the governor said in the press release. “In choosing judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor, and integrity of the candidates, not politics. These nominees reflect those priorities. I am confident that my new nominees will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges.”
LePage also nominated District Court Judge Robert E. Mullen to be a Superior Court judge. In addition to Schneider and Benson, the governor nominated Barbara L. Raimondi, Lance E. Walker and Eric J. Walker to serve as District Court judges.
The Walkers are not related.
Mullen of Waterville was appointed to the District Court by then-Gov. Angus King in 1996. He served as deputy chief Judge for Maine District Court from 2002-2005 and from 2010 to the present. Mullen worked in private practice before joining the Maine District Court.
Benson has served the state as senior homicide prosecutor since October 1999. Before that, he worked as an assistant district attorney in Somerset County.
Schneider served as Maine Attorney General from 2011 to 2013 before joining the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management in 2013. He also served as Assistant United States Attorney and Anti-Terrorism Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland from 2002 to 2010.
Eric Walker of Belmont has served since as deputy district attorney for Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties. Raimondi of Auburn and Lance Walker of Falmouth have worked in private practice since 1985 and 2001 respectively.
Hearings on judicial nominations before the Judiciary Committee will be scheduled in the near future.