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Field of judge candidates narrowed to four

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ST. PAUL—The Commission on Judicial Selection has announced it is recommending four candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the two current vacancies in Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District. These vacancies were created upon the retirements of the Honorable Heather L. Sweetland and the Honorable Dale A. Wolf. Judge Sweetland’s seat will be chambered at Duluth in St. Louis County and Judge Wolf’s seat will be chambered at Carlton in Carlton County.


The finalists for the positions include:

Leslie Beiers, a senior assistant St. Louis County attorney, where she is currently assigned to the Civil Division representing the Assessor and the Sheriff’s Office. Previously, she prosecuted adult and juvenile felony offenses in the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, and prior to that, was an assistant Carlton County Attorney. Beiers is a volunteer with Ruby’s Pantry and the Courage Center, and is a former president of the 11th District Bar Association.

Jill Eichenwald Cornwell is an assistant public defender for the Sixth Judicial District, where she represents individuals charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony offenses. Previously, she was an adjunct instructor at the College of St. Scholastica, and, prior to that, was the sole practitioner of the Eichenwald Law Office. Cornwell is a member of the board of directors for Center City Housing and has volunteered as a mock trial judge for the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Theresa Neo is an assistant city attorney in the Duluth Attorney’s Office, where she prosecutes traffic cases and petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor crimes. Previously, she has served as the staff attorney at the Indian Legal Assistance Program and the Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women. Neo is a former president of the 11th District Bar Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Red Cross of Northern Minnesota.

Nathaniel Stumme is an assistant St. Louis County attorney, where he is currently assigned to the Criminal Division to prosecute adult felony matters. Previously, he was an assistant public defender for the Sixth Judicial District and a solo practitioner of the Stumme Law Office. Stumme is a member of the First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center Multidisciplinary Team and the South St. Louis County Multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Response Team.

Among local Carlton County candidates for the positions were Joanna Weigert of Weigert Law Office in Cloquet, Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese and Cloquet City Attorney Frank Yetka of Rudy, Gasswert, Yetka, Pritchett and Helwig Law Office.

Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District consists of Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties.

An announcement of the appointments will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.