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Van Wyck named to temporary judgeship

(Sean Openshaw/Arizona Daily Sun)


Sun Staff Reporter

Robert B. Van Wyck, a Flagstaff lawyer and former state bar president, was appointed Tuesday to take over Coconino County Superior Court Division 1 while Judge Michael Flournoy is suspended.

Coconino County presiding Judge H. Jeffrey Coker said he is impressed with Wyck, 52, especially considering the fact that he was able to garner support from across the state and convince other lawyers of his "integrity and leadership" to become the president of the State Bar of Arizona in 1997.

He also said Van Wyck has a broad law experience that includes both civil and criminal cases. Van Wyck has been in Flagstaff for more than 14 years. He graduated from law school in Maine in 1978.

Van Wyck grew up in Cave Creek and worked in Nogales as a Santa Cruz County deputy district attorney. He later moved to Flagstaff to open a private practice. He and his wife, Pamela, have two daughters and two sons.

"Bob is a man who's very, very well-respected by the local bar," Coker said. "And he's in a position to be able to assume the responsibilities fairly quickly."

He said Van Wyck will be sworn in Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 4:30 p.m. and will begin hearing cases Wednesday. He will suspend his law practice while he serves as a temporary judge.

A committee made up of community members -- four men and four women -- screened 18 applicants and recommended four finalists to the superior court judges.

"It was a very well-rounded committee," Coker said. "It was diverse and a good group."

The judges interviewed the four and chose Van Wyck.

Coker said the judges did not participate in the initial screening. He said the names of the committee members and the other three finalists would not be released.

Flournoy began his suspension June 25 after the Commission on Judicial Conduct determined that his actions, ranging from outbursts of temper to tampering with an official court record, "demonstrate a pattern of misconduct and a consistent lack of regard for the duties of the high position he holds."

The panel recommended an 18-month suspension to the Arizona Supreme Judicial Court, which has not yet acted on the case.

Under state law, the suspension took effect when the commission delivered its recommendation to the high court.

Alia Rau can be reached at or 913-8607.

The Arizona Daily Sun
Copyright 1999, Pulitzer Community Newspapers, Inc.