FERGUSON • The city council is expected to vote Tuesday night to appoint a former St. Louis Circuit Court judge as the city's new municipal court judge.
Donald McCullin, 74, told a reporter he was unavailable for an interview Tuesday, but acknowledged he would be attending the city council meeting in which he was to be considered for the position.
Should he be selected, he may not be in the position for long, as Missouri law limits the age of municipal judges to 75. McCullin may have about 10 months on the job.
The appointment follows the departure of Judge Ronald J. Brockmeyer, who resigned March 9 in the aftermath of a Department of Justice report that depicted his court as functioning mainly as a revenue generator for the city and the police department as a collection agency. Brockmeyer said then that he stepped down because his family had received death threats.
The Missouri Supreme Court then appointed Judge Roy L. Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, to oversee Ferguson's court caseload. It's unclear when McCullin will assume the duties of the city's municipal court should he be appointed, as the ruling stated that the transfer of cases to Richter will continue “until further order.”
The late Governor Mel Carnahan appointed McCullin as a circuit judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit in September 1999. His primary duties were civil and criminal trials. McCullin retired in April 2011.
He worked as director of compliance for Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. for the 11 years preceding his judgeship, according to a Post-Dispatch profile of him published in 1999. He ensured the company obeyed anti-discrimination laws and handled discrimination complaints.
Before then, McCullin practiced law with Wayman Smith, a friend from his Soldan High School days.
Before his law career, McCullin taught algebra and geometry at Lincoln High School in East St. Louis from 1967 through 1974.
Early in his law career, he served four years as managing attorney for the United Auto Workers union in St. Louis, handling union members' consumer problems, bankruptcies and divorces.
He is listed as a mediator for the Aequitas firm, which specializes in mediation and arbitration, according to its website.
McCullin earned his bachelor's degree in math from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He received a master's degree from Webster University and a law degree from St. Louis University Law School. He is a member of the Missouri, Illinois, and California bars, according to the website.
McCullin is a member of the Mound City Bar Association, and served two terms as president of the organization.
The Mound City Bar Association has been critical of the law enforcement and judicial response following the police shooting death of Michael Brown. The group, which represents black attorneys, sued the city of Ferguson and its police department for violating the Sunshine Law, and also called for the removal of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch from the grand jury investigation of Brown's death.