By Traci Chapman
District Judge Paul Hesse has announced his appointment of Canadian County prosecutor Charles Gass to take the place of Special Judge Jack McCurdy.
Gass served as a deputy district attorney in Canadian County for about two years, Hesse said, previously working in a private practice with Yukon and El Reno offices. McCurdy will not leave the bench but rather change places, as he becomes the county’s most recent district judge, after prevailing in a November election.
Gass takes over the special judgeship effective Feb. 11. He will handle a predominantly domestic docket, as well as criminal, small claims and traffic cases, the judge said.
“Mr. Gass will be a great addition to the Canadian County judiciary,” Hesse said. “His reputation in the legal community, his temperament and legal experience made him a great choice to replace Judge Jack McCurdy.”
McCurdy will join Hesse at the top of Canadian County’s judiciary in January. It is the first time in county history two district judges have served in the local judicial administrative district, officials said.
“Special judges are employees of the district judges and serve at the district judges’ pleasure,” Hesse said.
Gass, who served as a local public defender, focused primarily on criminal and family law when in private practice, Hesse said. He is a member of Canadian County Bar Association and has, at various times, served as the association’s president, treasurer and secretary, the judge said.
Gass graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law after earning a political science degree from Oklahoma State University.