Cleary named to top spot on state appeals court

Published 10:30 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

ST. PAUL — The first person Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals became his choice Wednesday to lead the 19-member court.

Dayton elevated Judge Edward Cleary to be chief judge after first naming him to the appellate court in 2011. It’s the latest pick by Dayton for a key judicial slot after having named two Supreme Court justices already.

Judge Matthew Johnson had been in the top role but decided against seeking another three-year stint in charge. His term as chief expires next month.

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The appeals court handles thousands of cases each year.

Dayton, who could have chosen any of the sitting judges, said Cleary is held in high regard by his peers and considered him “the slightly best of really outstanding possibilities.”