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Nixon appoints circuit judge at home plate

Donna Walter//August 12, 2011//

Nixon appoints circuit judge at home plate

Donna Walter//August 12, 2011//

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Some baseball players slide into home plate, some baseball fans get married there, but how many judges can say that’s where the governor appointed them?

There’s at least one: Rex Burlison, who on Tuesday was named to the St. Louis Circuit Court.

Gov. Jay Nixon, right, surprised Rex Burlison last week when, at Busch Stadium, he named Burlison to the St. Louis Circuit Court. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Burlison was at Busch Stadium with Gov. Jay Nixon and others for a meeting with reps from the St. Louis Cardinals and Fox Sports Midwest about the governor’s anti-smoking campaign. After the meeting there was supposed to be a photo op at home plate, but that turned out to be Nixon signing Burlison’s appointment order.

“For someone who’s supposed to be in control, and not miss these things, I was shocked,” Burlison said.

The judgeship became available in April with the retirement of Judge Donald L. McCullin. Burlison was on a panel with two associate circuit judges: Elizabeth Byrne Hogan and Paula Perkins Bryant.

Burlison is the director of the eastern region for the Governor’s Office, a post he has held since February 2009. He also served as Nixon’s chief counsel, for the Eastern District of Missouri, when Nixon was the state’s attorney general.

Burlison fared better on the field Tuesday than the Cardinals did. The St. Louis team lost the 10-inning game to the rival Milwaukee Brewers, 5-3.

Earlier this month, Nixon announced the appointment of another former employee, John N. Borbonus, to fill a vacancy for associate circuit judge on the St. Louis County Circuit Court. The position became available when Judge Thea Sherry moved up to the circuit bench.

Borbonus, 46, is a principal with the law firm of King, Krehbiel, Hellmich & Borbonus, where he has practiced since 1999. His previous experience includes three years as a Missouri assistant attorney general.

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