Chesterton Tribune

Daniels names his former counsel to Indiana Supreme Court

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CHARLES WILSON,

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A former newspaper reporter and top legal adviser to Gov. Mitch Daniels has been named to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Mark Massa, 50, was introduced Friday by Daniels, who filled a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The court's newest justice serves as executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. He was Daniels' chief counsel from 2006 to 2010, when he resigned for an unsuccessful run for Marion County prosecutor. He also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County.

He clerked for Shepard and worked as an aide to then-Gov. Robert Orr in the late 1980s. He also had worked as a newspaper reporter in Evansville.

"He has seen the law from private and public sides. He is one of the finest prosecutors ever to come to the bench in this state," Daniels said of Massa.

Massa called his appointment "a sobering responsibility and an honor."

"It is really beyond words," he said.

Massa was one of three finalists for the vacancy. The others were Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford and Indianapolis attorney Jane Seigel.

Massa is the second justice Daniels has appointed since taking office in 2004. He named Steven David, a decorated Army officer who once served as chief defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainees, to the bench in 2010 following the retirement of Justice Theodore Boehm.

Indiana has not had a female Supreme Court justice since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the bench.

Shepard's retirement was effective Friday after 27 years on the court. Though Massa fills the vacancy, a judicial commission will select the new chief justice from among the Supreme Court's five justices.

 

Posted 3/24/2012