Come January, Tim Lohmar could be hanging up the robe he wears as a St. Charles County associate circuit judge to become the county's next prosecuting attorney.
County Executive Steve Ehlmann tapped Lohmar on Nov. 19 to replace prosecutor Jack Banas, who ran unopposed in the Nov. 6 election for St. Charles County circuit judge, Division 3. The County Council was expected to vote Monday night, after Journal deadline, on whether to approve the appointment. If approved, Lohmar would take office as prosecutor Jan. 1, which is when Banas will become one of the county's 12 circuit and associate circuit judges.
"I never anticipated the opportunity would come up because Jack had been there forever and was doing a great job," Lohmar said at the county courthouse Wednesday morning. "I want to maintain the legacy that St. Charles County is a safe place to raise a family. It was too rich of an opportunity to pass up."
Banas has served as prosecuting attorney since winning his first election to the office in 1999. He was last re-elected in 2010. Because two years remain in Banas' current term, Ehlmann was required to appoint someone from the same political party as Banas, a Republican, to serve until the office comes up for election in November 2014.
Ehlmann headed a committee that interviewed several candidates for the prosecutor’s job.
Lohmar served as the first judge of the St. Charles County Municipal Court from 2007 to 2010. He served as municipal judge for Moscow Mills in Lincoln County from 2005 to 2007, and also was the prosecuting attorney in St. Charles from 2004 to 2008. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1996 and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1999.
His fifth-floor office in the county courthouse is adorned with Mizzou sports memorabilia. "I'm a big fan of the Tigers," he said.
Lohmar and his wife Stephanie, who live in Weldon Spring, have an 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. He served on the St. Charles Community College of Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2010, served on the boards of directors for the SSM St. Joseph Foundation and the Disabled Athletes Sports Association and is a member of the St. Charles Rotary Club and Messiah Lutheran Church in Weldon Spring.
His father, William Lohmar Jr., served as a judge in the St. Charles County Circuit Court for 30 years before retiring in January 2011, then was elected St. Charles municipal judge in April 2011.
Tim Lohmar said being the prosecutor in Missouri's third largest county presents challenges across the board. He said he is aware of the heroin problem that's touching the lives of many young people and their families.
"To do this job, you must have good leadership skills, be able to create a clear vision and build bridges," Lohmar said.
Ehlmann stated in a news release he expects Lohmar to "aggressively prosecute crime. It won’t bother me at all if the criminals in the St. Louis area stay out of St. Charles County because they know our prosecutor will be tough on them. Tim is somebody who was born and raised in St. Charles County, and he understands how important safe neighborhoods are to our families."
Banas was instrumental in the formation of the county's drug court and alcohol court. He also assigned a prosecutor to work exclusively on domestic violence.
"We’ve taken a hard stance on any type of violent crime," Banas stated in the county's release. "We’ve got some very talented people (in the prosecutor’s office) and they’re doing extremely well.”