BROOKSVILLE - Governor Rick Scott has appointed Hernando County Judge Donald Scaglione to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court.
"I'm excited about the new challenge and look forward to continuing to serve Hernando County," said Scaglione, 54, when reached by phone on Tuesday.
Scaglione said he will finish out the year as county judge and start his circuit judge duties on Jan. 1. Those duties include family law, child support, dependency hearing, foreclosure and Jimmy Rice cases (the involuntary civil commitment of sexually violent predators).
"Judge Scaglione's service on the Hernando County Court bench has demonstrated his commitment to his community and the law. I am confident that his decades of service and experience will make him a strong addition to the Circuit Court bench," Scott said.
The circuit judge seat opened up after Fifth Circuit Judge Sandra Edwards-Stephens announced her retirement earlier this year. Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti is transferring to Marion County, leaving a vacancy in Hernando County.
Scaglione and two other local private attorneys, Thomas R. Eineman and John E. Napolitano, were submitted for the governor's consideration by a nominating committee.
Scaglione was elected as a county judge in 2004, and ran unopposed for re-election in 2010. Before serving as county judge, Scaglione worked as an assistant state attorney for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Hernando, Marion, Lake, Sumter and Citrus counties, from 1990 to 2004. Before that, Scaglione was a assistant state attorney and public defender in the 19th Circuit, which covers Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
Scaglione's appointment means Scott will need to make two more judicial appointments in the near future.
In addition to a new county judge to fill Scaglione's seat, Circuit Judge Lisa Herndon is transferring to Marion County to replace retiring Judge William J. Singbush. Applications for her replacement are being reviewed on Dec. 4, said Derek Schroth, chair of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission.