Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed two new judges to local benches.
That includes Tampa native Thomas Palermo, an assistant U.S. attorney. DeSantis appointed him to the 13th Judicial Circuit.
“Mr. Palermo has led an impressive legal career and I am certain he is ready to take this next step as a judge on the 13th Judicial Circuit,” DeSantis said. “The people of Hillsborough County can rest assured that he will serve with honor and distinction.”
Palermo will replace former Circuit Judge Laurel Lee, wife of state Sen. Tom Lee. DeSantis named her Secretary of State.
The court handles county court appeals, felony cases and civil disputes over $15,000.
DeSantis also appointed Jessica Costello as a Hillsborough County Judge. Costello is an assistant statewide prosecutor for the Attorney General’s Office. She’s from South Carolina.
“Ms. Costello’s work as a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office leaves no doubt that she is ready and qualified for this judgeship,” DeSantis said. “She knows the issues of Hillsborough County well and that will be reflected with her new position on the bench.”
Costello will replace Judge Lawrence Lefler who was elevated to the 13th Circuit Court, located in Tampa.