A state legislative panel was expected to interview candidates for potential judgeship Monday evening.

Joan Ziglar, a former Martinsville commonwealth’s attorney, and Martinsville lawyer Kelli A. Krumenacker are the latest contenders for the General District Court judgeship in the 21st Judicial District.

The Senate Committee for Courts of Justice and the House Judicial Panel scheduled the interviews Monday immediately upon adjournment of the House and Senate.

The judgeships emerged because of a new opening starting July 1 in General District Court and the retirements of Judges Bob Bushnell in juvenile and domestic relations court and Martin F. Clark Jr. in circuit court.

Ultimately four candidates could be elected.

On Thursday, Martinsville attorney Eric Monday withdrew from consideration for a judgeship.

“For the last two weeks there has been a well-organized campaign by people grinding very rusty, old axes, to attack my character, professional reputation and competency to be a judge,” Monday wrote in a statement. “This campaign was also designed to tarnish my ‘legitimacy,’ in the event that I was actually selected. It is apparent to me that this campaign has at least partially succeeded.”

Ziglar declined to comment when reached by phone Monday. Krumenacker was unavailable for comment.

According to biographical information she submitted to a local bar association, Ziglar was Martinsville commonwealth’s attorney from 1998 to 2013. She was senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Danville from August 2014-17 and has been senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Pittsylvania County since September 2017.

Krumenacker has practiced law locally almost 30 years and is a former president of the Martinsville-Henry County Bar Association, according to a letter she recently wrote to the Bulletin.

Other biographical information about Krumenacker was not immediately available Monday.

Del. Les Adams, R-Chatham, wrote in an email Feb. 12 that the House and Senate Judicial Panel had interviewed district Judge Marcus A. Brinks, Monday and attorneys Kimberly Belongia and Jimmy McGarry and determined them capable to fill three judgeships.

Monday’s candidacy for the bench had become a point of public concern based on the votes of the two bar associations that serve the counties in District 21. The Martinsville-Henry County Bar Association and the Patrick County Bar Association each had held a special vote to address Monday’s candidacy.

The Patrick County Bar on Feb. 7 unanimously approved a resolution finding Monday unqualified. That resolution cited that he had not submitted a resume or otherwise requested consideration by the bar. But it said members were familiar with his record.

On Feb. 11, 20 members of the Martinsville-Henry County Bar Association rated Eric Monday not qualified to serve on the bench. Six members voted that Monday was highly qualified, five found him qualified, and one person abstained, according to an email that was obtained by the Bulletin. On Oct. 30, the bar had met and rated candidates who had submitted their names for consideration. At that time, Monday had not submitted his name for consideration.

On Feb. 9, Krumenacker emailed a letter to the Bulletin in support of Eric Monday and criticizing the Patrick County Bar Association.

Paul Collins reports for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at paul.collins@martinsvillebulletin.com

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