Letter to the editor – Appointment Process Explained


There seem to be some misconceptions regarding the appointment of the St. Joseph County Clerk and Register of Deeds.

Here is an explanation of the process that took place prior to my retirement on June 30, 2015 regarding the appointment of Lindsay Oswald.

It is the duty of the Circuit Judge to make the appointment of the County Clerk and Register of Deeds when there is a vacancy.

The Circuit Judge, Paul Stutesman, chose to have an interview committee to assist him in the selection that he would make. The folks on this Committee with Judge Stutesman were David Tomlinson, Probate Judge, Theresa Doehring, Human Resources Director, Kathy Griffin, Circuit Court Administrator and me.

In an application process open to all eligible county residents five people applied for the appointment and the Committee interviewed all five. Three of them were called back for a second interview and before that happened one of them withdrew their application. So, the Committee interviewed the remaining two candidates.

The Committee asked an extensive battery of questions and had truly frank discussions with both finalists. The Committee then set up an additional interview with them so that we had as much information as we could get before making a recommendation to the Judge.

Both candidates had many positive attributes and after a tremendous amount of thought by each Committee member; contacting references; and discussion with one another, Lindsay Oswald was recommended to the Judge for appointment.

While both candidates had county employment experience, Lindsay rose to the top because of her educational accomplishments and technical experience relating to particular duties of the office. One of these particular duties was her history of 10 years’ experience with elections including scrutinizing petitions for their completeness and accuracy.

I can assure you that there was no cronyism involved. We conducted a fair and thorough process before Judge Stutesman made his appointment.

Pattie S. Bender

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