Gov. Rick Snyder filled a vacancy Wednesday on the Wayne County Circuit Court criminal bench, replacing a judge who suddenly died earlier this year.

Snyder appointed Donald Knapp Jr. to fill the vacancy created by the death Feb. 5 of Judge Richard Skutt.

Snyder said in a statement: “Don Knapp’s long and distinguished career as an attorney and public servant has prepared him well for a seat on the Wayne County Circuit Court.”

Knapp will have to seek election for the seat in November for the remainder of his term.

A Livonia city attorney since 2009, Knapp is a former clerk for presiding Wayne County Circuit Judge Tim Kenny and previously worked as a legislative aide to then-state Sen. Thad McCotter.

Knapp is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn where received his undergraduate degree in 1993. His graduated from the Detroit College of Law in 1996. He was a Livonia city council member from 2002 to 2009.

Knapp is a member of several organizations, including the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, the Livonia Bar Association and the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

Knapp earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1993 and his law degree from Detroit College of Law in 1996.

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