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High court says judicial nominee never appointed

April 7, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — The state’s highest court has ruled against a Pittsfield attorney who claims he was legally appointed a judge.

The dispute goes back more than two years, when then-Gov. Deval Patrick nominated Michael McCarthy to be an associate justice in Southern Berkshire District Court.

An initial vote by the Governor’s Council on McCarthy’s nomination ended in a 3-3 tie. Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning, who abstained, later sent Patrick a letter saying she backed the nomination. McCarthy claimed that gave him a majority, meaning he’d been appointed a judge.

But the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday agreed with a lower court’s decision that Manning’s letter did not constitute a formal vote and Patrick never signed the required appointment papers.

Patrick later submitted McCarthy’s name a second time, but the council rejected that nomination.

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