By PETER KASPARI
William Habhab has been appointed to fill the vacant Webster County Magistrate position, nearly a week after Bruce Cornell retired.
Habhab, a Fort Dodge attorney, received word of his appointment on Thursday, and said he officially begins his job on June 18.
He was interested in applying for the position because he wanted to use his experience in a different field, he said.
"It allows me to use the experience that I've acquired over many years of practice in a new area of law," he said. "I'll be putting that experience to use as a judge as opposed to an attorney or an advocate."
"That's something new and interesting to me," he added.
Habhab and two others had applied for the position, which opened up after Cornell retired on Sunday after 30 years as a magistrate.
He believes his experience will help him as he's on the bench.
"I can bring experience in a wide variety of legal cases, and I have a great deal of familiarity with the judicial system," he said.
Habhab was selected by a five-member committee, which was made up of three appointed by the Webster County Supervisors and two who were elected by attorneys throughout the county.
The selection process included half-hour interviews with the candidates on Thursday morning. After interviewing the candidates, the committee met to make a decision.
Habhab's appointment was announced early Thursday afternoon by the Webster County Clerk of Court.
He is looking forward to his new responsibilities as magistrate.
"It's going to be very different," he said. "It'll be very enjoyable working with the lawyers and the people who work within the judicial community."
Habhab is not required to go through training, but he said regular sessions are held periodically.
"There are regular training seminars for magistrates throughout the state," he said. "I have a great deal of familiarity with the position and the transition should be seamless."
Habhab's appointment puts the total number of magistrates in Webster County at three. The other two in that position are Steve Kersten and William Thatcher.