Judge Craig Hellmann

Municipal Judge Craig Hellmann, Washington, was appointed by Gov. Eric Greitens as 20th District Circuit Judge to replace the retired Judge Gael D. Wood.

Judge Hellmann, 54, was one of three applicants seeking the appointment. He was notified Tuesday by the governor’s office.

“I was excited to get the phone call and honored that the governor chose me,” he told The Missourian.

The 29th District includes Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties.

“I am looking forward to serving the citizens in all three counties,” Judge Hellmann added. “I am looking forward to my future — it is a different future than private practice. I took another step.”

Judge Hellmann has served as the municipal court judge for Washington since 1990. In 2016, Judge Hellmann was elected to serve as the municipal court judge for Franklin County. He also is the principal attorney of his law practice, Craig E. Hellmann, Attorney at Law, P.C.

Changes

He will fill the unexpired term of Judge Wood, who was required by state statute to retire in October when he reached the age of 70.

Judge Hellmann said he intends to seek election to office in the August 2018 primary, if necessary, and in the November 2018 general election.

He will resign his position as Franklin County Municipal Judge prior to being sworn as 20th District Circuit Judge Dec. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Franklin County Judicial Center by Judge Wood. Hellmann is required to be sworn in within 30 days of the governor’s appointment.

Presiding Judge Ike Lamke will appoint a new Franklin County Municipal judge to serve Hellmann’s unexpired term through 2020.

The Washington Municipal Court will no longer operate after Dec. 31 after city officials agreed to disband the court due to new requirements imposed on city courts in Missouri.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Hellmann to the circuit bench,” said Greitens. “Judge Hellmann brings almost three decades of experience as both a private practitioner and a municipal judge, and I am confident he will serve the 20th Judicial Circuit with distinction and respect.”