Pawlenty defends latest judicial pick, denies cronyismby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Governor Pawlenty is defending his latest judicial pick.
On Tuesday, Pawlenty appointed Jamie Anderson to a judgeship in Hennepin County. Anderson is the wife of Paul Anderson, Pawlenty's Deputy Chief of Staff.
Pawlenty disregarded the judicial screening process when he picked Anderson. It's a legal but unusual move, but Pawlenty said his appointment of Anderson should not be considered cronyism.
"I think she has obvious strengths and I don't think this is somebody that you look at and say she is unworthy of this position," Pawlenty said. "Plus, I know a lot more about her than I would after interviewing somebody else for fifteen or twenty minutes.
"So I have a higher degree of confidence of who she is, what she believes, [and] her integrity than somebody I more typically meet in a fifteen or twenty-minute interview," he said. Pawlenty also appointed his chief counsel Patrick Robben to be a Hennepin County District Court judge. Robben went through the normal judicial screening process.