By Janet Jacobs

Daily Sun

Joe Michael Russell, 60, is the likely choice as the next municipal judge for Corsicana, according to Mayor C.L. “Buster” Brown.

Corsicana will need a new city judge because James Lagomarsino was elected to the district court on Tuesday.

“(Russell) had expressed an interest several months ago, and I think we’d be extremely lucky to get him,” Brown said Thursday. “He’s got trial experience, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to get someone of that level of experience to be municipal judge.”

If the appointment is approved by the city council, Russell will serve until the next city elections in May.

Russell began his career as a lawyer in 1974, and has primarily specialized in medical malpractice, asbestos litigation, personal injury, contracts, and insurance defense, according to the Web site for Kent, Good, Anderson and Bush, where he’s currently an associate.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and privilege of serving the citizens of Corsicana,” Russell said in a telephone interview.

Russell has lived in Corsicana since 1980. He doesn’t intend to continue working in Tyler, if his appointment is approved.

“I’m envisioning it as a full-time responsibility to serve the citizens of the City of Corsicana,” Russell said.

In the meantime, Lagomarsino has no intention of stepping down early from the city bench before he starts his new job on Jan. 1, 2009.

“I’m probably going to stay until the end,” Lagomarsino said. “I need the paycheck.”

Lagomarsino said he has some clients in his private practice, but is currently trying to complete those cases before the end of the year.

“I don’t want to get anything started, and I obviously want to get things finished up before I take over (as district judge). I’ll probably stay until late December,” he said.

In other openings, Corsicana is continuing to search for a new Police Chief, to take the place of G.M. Cox, who retired on Oct. 1. Ladena Baggett is serving as interim chief.

The city hasn’t released a list of finalists yet, and is still interviewing candidates, according to City Manager Connie Standridge. About 30 people applied for the position. The goal was to have the short list of five finalists for the council by Nov. 18, the date of the second regular city council meeting of the month.

“We still have one other applicant I’d like to speak to, and possibly have a second interview,” Standridge said. “It probably won’t happen in the second meeting.”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at

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