The verdict — actually the appointment — is in. Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor Lloyd Oaks is the newest judge in Pierce County District Court.
Pierce County Council members selected Oaks to fill the vacancy created last fall by retiring Judge James Heller. Oaks, rated "well qualified" by the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, was one of four candidates who applied for the appointment.
The initial vote was 4-3 for Oaks. Three council members supported Dwayne Christopher, another candidate. Following the first round of voting, council members selected Oaks on a final 5-2 vote.
The appointment means Oaks, who has practiced law in Washington since 1992, will move from the prosecutor's juvenile court division to District Court, which handles misdemeanor and traffic cases as well as small claims and other matters.
The position pays about $160,000 annually. Oaks will have to stand for election this fall.