FAIRFIELD — A new chief judge has been appointed for the Eighth Judicial District, which covers southeastern Iowa.

District Judge Myron Gookin, of Fairfield, will assume the post on Jan. 1. He will succeed current Chief Judge Mary Ann Brown, who is retiring at year's end.

Gookin has been on the bench since August 2011, and was a lawyer for 28 years prior. He received his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1980 and his juris doctorate from the Drake University Law School in 1983.

“I am very honored and thankful to be selected as Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial District of Iowa by Chief Justice Christensen and the Iowa Supreme Court,” Gookin said. “I look forward to the challenge and will work hard to be a positive force in the important work of the 8th Judicial District. We have terrific people working diligently every day in our district and I am excited to help and lead them in our mission to administer justice under the law equally to all persons.”

The Chief Judge still presides over cases but adds supervision duties for all judicial officers and court employees of the district. He will also serve on the judicial council, which advises the Iowa Supreme Court on administrative matters.

The Eighth Judicial District includes 14 counties (Appanoose, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Mahaska, Monroe, Poweshiek, Van Buren, Wapello, and Washington) and has 11 district court judges, seven district associate court judges, one associate juvenile court judge, 14 part-time magistrates, and 120 employees. Gookin will oversee the operating budget of approximately $15.4 million. There were more than 53,000 cases filed in the district in 2020.

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen made the appointment Tuesday.

"Judge Gookin has served the people of the Eighth Judicial District for more than a decade and was a well-respected lawyer for 28 years prior to being appointed to the bench,” Christensen said. “I love that his entire legal career has been in the community where he was born and raised. He is vested in Fairfield, Jefferson County, and the Eighth Judicial District where he has shown his commitment to the ideals of fairness, equality, and justice. I am confident he will be a respected leader who will provide the best possible judicial services to the people of his district.”

Gookin is married and has three children, and resides in Fairfield.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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