ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The first person Governor Mark Dayton appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals is now his choice to lead the 19-member court.
Dayton elevated Judge Edward Cleary to be chief judge on Wednesday. Cleary has been on the panel since 2011.
Judge Matthew Johnson had been in the top role but decided against seeking another three-year stint in charge.
The appeals court handles thousands of cases each year.
Cleary was initially appointed a judge by Governor Jesse Ventura in 2002. Before that he led the office that investigated complaints against lawyers. In 2008, he was a member of the board that oversaw the recount in the close Senate contest that ended with Al Franken defeating Norm Coleman.
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