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Rosen deemed ineligible candidate for judge

Mar. 07, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. -- Former Boyd Circuit Court Judge Marc I. Rosen is not a bona fide candidate for election this year, Floyd Circuit Judge John David Caudill ruled Thursday.

Rosen, who was on senior judge status through Jan. 31, filed as a candidate for an eight-year-term as judge against Circuit Judge George B. Davis III. Rosen claimed in a complaint filed in Frankfort that the law preventing him from filing for office passed last year by the Kentucky General Assembly was unconstitutional.

The constitutionality question currently is being heard in Franklin Circuit Court. A hearing date has not been set.

Roger Hall, an Ashland lawyer, filed a petition seeking to have Rosen declared ineligible as a candidate. Hall said that Rosen, if elected, would be double dipping, collecting retirement and a salary. Rosen would be paid about $250,000 per year, making him eligible to receive $2 million over an eight-year term as judge.

After both Davis and Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman disqualified from hearing the petition, Caudill was appointed to decide whether Rosen was an eligible candidate for judge.

Rosen also filed a motion earlier this week to continue Thursday's hearing. He said the issue could be heard in 30 to 60 days and that the ruling from Frankfort was the key issue to be decided in the case.

Caudill initially was going to withhold a ruling in the case.

"This is not a case where the election is next week," he said. "The constitutionality of this statute is not before me. I want to do what ends up the right thing to do for the citizens of Boyd County."

"We don't need two separate appeals going," Caudill said. "I'm not the final arbitrator. I will rule, if it becomes necessary, before August. The statute (that prohibited Rosen from filing for office) is constitutional as we stand here today."

He said if he had to rule Thursday, he would rule that Rosen wasn't a bona fide candidate for judge.

Lynn Sowards Zellen, director of Communications for Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes, said the office was taking no position in the case before Caudill. The office would need to certify candidates for the November general election by Aug. 25.

Zellen said the office was withholding sending out certificates of nomination to Rosen pending a court ruling. Without the certification, Rosen said, it would impact his ability to campaign.

Caudill then ruled Rosen wasn't eligible to run.

Rosen has five days to file an appeal in the case. He said he would file the appeal.

Perry M. Bentley, a Lexington, Ky., lawyer representing Davis, also argued Thursday against Rosen's motion to continue Thursday's hearing. Bentley said Boyd County was the proper venue to determine if Rosen is eligible to seek office.

Rosen filed for office prior to the deadline, but while he was still serving as senior judge, an apparent misdemeanor and a violation of the law.

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