Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed Salt Lake County prosecutor Paul Parker to fill a judicial vacancy in 3rd District Court, which serves Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties.
Parker, who has worked for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office for 24 years, was chosen from a pool of six attorney nominees to replace Judge Judith Atherton when she retires on Aug. 1.
“Paul possesses an immense understanding of Utah’s judicial system,” Herbert said in a statement. “He brings over 35 years of experience working within Utah law. The state judicial system will assuredly benefit from his comprehensive expertise.”
Parker began his career in law enforcement in 1978 as a Vernal police officer. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah College of Law and went on to work as a law clerk for the Statewide Association of Prosecutors and the Salt Lake County Attorney’s Office in 1986.
In his current role, Parker has prosecuted some of the most violent cases in the state — among them cases of theft, assault, child abuse, sexual assault and homicide.
Parker responded to his appointment by saying he was “humbled” by the opportunity and grateful for the governor’s “confidence,” according to a statement.
Parker’s appointment is subject to review by the Utah State Senate, whose Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee will hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on June 19 to issue a recommendation to the full Senate on whether or not Parker should be confirmed.