Hennepin County District Court’s first chief judge of color will take the post this summer.
Hennepin County District Judge Toddrick S. Barnette was elected to the role by his colleagues, according to a news release Monday.
“I’m honored to serve as chief judge and have Judge Kerry Meyer as the Assistant Chief Judge,” Barnette, who is black, said in a written statement. “We want to continue to work with my colleagues to provide access to justice, while seeking more innovative and effective ways to serve the public and ensure public trust in our courts.”
Barnette will replace Chief Judge Ivy Bernhardson on July 1.
A chief judge oversees administrative functions of their courts, assigns judges to various posts and serves on the Minnesota Judicial Council, which determines administrative policies for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
Barnette was appointed as a Hennepin County judge in 2006 and was elected in 2008 and 2014. His term expires in 2021.
He previously served as senior attorney for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and senior attorney for the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office.
Barnette earned his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and his law degree from the University of Minnesota.
He is a member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, and he currently serves as the county’s assistant chief judge. He previously served as criminal presiding judge.
Hennepin County District Judge Kerry Meyer was also elected as assistant chief judge. She was appointed to the bench in 2006 and was elected as judge twice.
“I’m honored to be elected as the assistant chief judge,” said Meyer. “I look forward to working with Chief Judge Barnette, my other colleagues and court staff in fulfilling the mission of the Fourth Judicial District Court.”