Tuesday, Mar. 19 2013 4:21PM
On the bench
By Toriano Porter
An opportunity presented itself to Dana Altieri and she took it.
The Lee’s Summit attorney and part-time municipal judge is one of three finalists in the running to replace Christine Sill-Rogers, a retiring Jackson County Circuit Court Judge.
“The opening came up,” Altieri said March 18, less than a week after she was named one of three nominees for the associate circuit judge vacancy in Division 31 of the Jackson County Circuit Court. Other nominees included Arimeta Dupree, an attorney with the Missouri State Public Defender’s office and attorney Mary Weir. “You can’t predict these deals; it just came up.”
One of two part-time municipal judges in Lee’s Summit, Altieri sees her weekly duties in Lee’s Summit as a testament to her filing for the position as associate circuit judge.
“I love my duties as a judge,” Altieri said. “I absolutely love the role and I have a good temperament. I look forward to every Wednesday when I get to be on the bench (in Lee’s Summit). Frankly, I’m on the bench all day Wednesdays and as a result Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.”
Altieri and the other finalists were chosen after the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission considered 14 applicants for the three-member panel. The commission submitted the panel to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has 60 days to appoint one of the nominees as associate circuit judge.
That process has Altieri, elected municipal judge in Lee’s Summit in 2010 over incumbent Bill Lewis, feeling somewhat anxious.
“One of the challenges is that I’m nervous for my interview,” she said. “Frankly, I’m just nervous to interview with the governor. Often times it is intimidating to meet the governor let alone interview with him and potentially be selected. It’s nerve-wracking.”
Outside of a case of nerves, Altieri likes her chances of becoming an associate judge.
“Instead of focusing and comparing myself against them,” Altieri said of the other panelists, “I’m more focused on myself and my attributes and selling myself. My strong points are my temperament – I’m not easily angered – and I’m respectful. I’m respectful, but I also don’t have any issue delivering punishment when it’s necessary.
“I feel really good. I really do. I think this is a good opportunity.”