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2 state court nominees have roots in Tucson

Citizen Staff Writer



A Tucson native and a University of Arizona graduate are among the three nominees Gov. Janet Napolitano will choose from for the next Arizona Supreme Court justice.

The Judicial Nominating Committee yesterday recommended Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Colin Francis Campbell, 53, who was born in Tucson; Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Ann A. Scott Timmer, 44, who got her undergraduate degree from UA; and William Scott Bales, 48, a Harvard Law School graduate.

Tucson attorney Jose H. Robles, 49, was among six candidates the committee interviewed yesterday, but was not chosen as a finalist.

The Supreme Court vacancy is a result of Chief Justice Charles E. Jones’ retirement. Friday, Ruth V. McGregor will be sworn in as chief justice.

According to applications sent by the candidates to the committee:

Campbell, a Democrat, is a Salpointe Catholic High School graduate who also graduated first in his class from UA’s law school.

He was appointed to Maricopa County Superior Court in 1990.

In 1974, Campbell represented death-row inmate John Henry Knapp for free, believing in his innocence. Campbell won a new trial for Knapp based on new scientific evidence in 1987. After a hung jury, Knapp pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was freed in 1992 for time served.

In 1990, the UA Law School gave Campbell its Outstanding Graduate Award.

He and his wife of 23 years, Erin Kathleen Campbell, have seven children ages 8 to 21.

His uncle, William Goodwin, was killed on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. Campbell’s father, who was raised in a Catholic orphanage, attended UA on the GI Bill.

Campbell’s younger brother, James, survived the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

Timmer, a Republican, attended UA from 1978 to 1982, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She attended on academic scholarships from UA and the Phoenix Press Club.

She got her law degree from Arizona State University, graduating magna cum laude.

Timmer was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix in 2000.

Timmer is married and has three daughters, ages 12 to 16. Because her 14-year-old daughter is deaf, Timmer learned American Sign Language at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in Tucson.

Bales, a Democrat, is with the Phoenix law firm Lewis & Roca. He once served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

As assistant U.S. attorney, Bales represented the state before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing against reversing the convictions of Joe Lambright and Robert Douglas Smith, who were sentenced to death in 1982 for raping and murdering a hitchhiker in Tucson. The court upheld the convictions.

Bales, who is married, said his daughter graduated this spring from UA and his son will attend classes there in the fall.

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