FAIRFIELD — A judge from the local judicial district has applied for a vacancy on the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Myron Gookin, 61, of Fairfield, received his doctorate in law from Drake University in 1983 and was admitted to the Iowa Bar Association the same year. He was appointed by then-Gov. Terry Branstad as a district judge in 2011 after working as an attorney in Fairfield and Des Moines.
In his application, Gookin said he was “very interested in appellate work” during law school. His work at Foss, Kuiken, Gookin & Cochran, P.C., a general practice law firm in Fairfield, also included appellate work.
In 2014, Gookin presided over the trial of Patrick Nicoletto, a high school coach charged in 2011 with having a sexual relationship with a student. Gookin denied a defense motion to dismiss the charge of sexual exploitation by a school employee. Nicoletto was convicted. But the Iowa Supreme Court reversed the decision, saying coaches were not covered under the same law as teachers.
“The Iowa Legislature thereafter enacted amendments to the statute to clarify the statute applies to coaches who are not teachers,” Gookin noted.
The vacancy for which Gookin applied was created July 1 when Judge Gayle Vogel retired. Interviews are scheduled for Aug. 5, and will be live streamed on the Iowa Judicial Branch’s YouTube channel.
The 17-member State Judicial Nominating Commission will propose three applicants for consideration by Gov. Kim Reynolds. Reynolds will have 30 days after receiving the slate to appoint one as the new appeals court judge.