Gov. Rick Scott appointed four new judges Monday, including the assistant U.S. attorney who helped prosecute a South Florida eye doctor linked in a corruption case to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
Scott named Carolyn Bell to the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County. She was one of the federal prosecutors to work on a case against ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen.
Prosecutors dropped a bribery case against Melgen and Menendez in January, Roll Call reported, but Melgen was sentenced a month later to 17 years imprisonment in another case on charges of “defrauding Medicare and stealing $73 million from the system.”
Bell, 56, of Palm Beach Gardens, previously served as Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, a press release said. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Thomas H. Barkdull III.
In other announcements, Scott named:
— James “Lee” Marsh to the 2nd Judicial Circuit for Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties.
Marsh, 44, of Tallahassee, currently serves as Chief Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General, and previously served as Judge Advocate in the United States Navy. He fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Charles A. Francis.
— Chad K. Alvaro to the 9th Judicial Circuit for Orange and Osceola counties.
Alvaro, 41, of Orlando, is board-certified in construction law, and is a shareholder with Mateer & Harbert. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Christi L. Underwood.
— Tarlika Nunez Navarro to the 17th Judicial Circuit for Broward County.
Navarro, 35, of Fort Lauderdale, is currently in private practice. She previously served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. Navarro fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Alfred J. Horowitz.