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Commission on Judicial Selection recommends 7th Judicial District candidates to Gov. Walz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

June 27, 2024

Claire Lancaster

claire.lancaster@state.mn.us  

651-219-2975

 

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Seventh Judicial District Candidates to Governor Walz

 

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending five candidates for consideration to fill two vacancies in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. One of the vacancies occurred upon the elevation of the Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the other vacancy will occur upon the resignation of the Honorable Greta M. Smolnisky. The seats will be chambered in St. Cloud in Stearns County and Moorhead in Clay County.

Amy Chantry: Amy Chantry serves as a judicial referee in the Tenth Judicial District, where she presides over housing, harassment, domestic violence, minor criminal, and minor civil matters. She previously served as a legal and policy advisor at the Minnesota Department of Health and as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable David R. Battey. Chantry’s community involvement includes volunteering as a high school mock trial judge and for various student activities at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

Simon George: Simon George is the managing attorney of the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s Offices in Becker and Douglas counties. He was previously a part time public defender in the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s Office, while also operating a private criminal defense practice. George’s community involvement has included volunteering with Rotary International and Shriners International, and he is a former member of the Frazee-Vergas School Board.

Michael Leeser: Michael Leeser is an assistant county attorney in the Clay County Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes adult criminal and juvenile cases. He is a member of the Clay County Drug Court and Clay County Veterans Court teams. Leeser was previously an attorney with Lies, Bullis & Hatting and an assistant city attorney for the Wahpeton City Attorney’s Office in North Dakota. He was also an adjunct professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he taught a course on the introduction to law for the Healthcare Administration program. Leeser’s community involvement includes serving as vice president of the Clay County Bar Association and as a board member of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority.

Michael Minard: Michael Minard is an assistant public defender in the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Moorhead, where he represents low-income defendants charged with criminal offenses. He was previously an assistant public defender in the Third Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Faribault. Minard’s community involvement includes serving as the vice president of the Clay County Bar Association and volunteering for the Moorhead Youth Hockey Association.

Ole Tvedten: Ole Tvedten is the head of the Criminal Division of the Stearns County Attorney’s Office. He was previously an assistant county attorney in the Stearns County Attorney’s Office, where he was a trial prosecutor and appellate attorney. Tvedten’s community involvement includes serving on the Stearns County Opioid Community Advisory Committee, the Minnesota County Attorney Association’s Appellate Advisory Committee and Trial School, the Stearns County Domestic Violence Partnership, the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Multi-Disciplinary Team, and the Stearns County Substance Abuse Court Steering Committee. He also volunteers with Project Connect, judges mock trial, and coaches girls youth sports.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage

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