Seventh Circuit Judge, Carlos E. Mendoza, was confirmed for a seat on the federal bench earlier this week according to an announcement received by Historic City News from Court Communications Officer, Ludmilla Lelis, in Deland. Circuit Judge Clyde E. Wolfe will take over the Putnam County criminal division seat being vacated by Mendoza on August 4th.
Mendoza, a friend to Historic City News and former assistant city attorney for the City of St Augustine, also served as a division chief for the Office of the State Attorney, Seventh Judicial Circuit; a specially appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and a Judge Advocate in the United States Navy.
“As proud as we are of his transition to the federal bench, I know that we will each miss him as a friend and colleague,” Chief Judge Terence R. Perkins said of Judge Mendoza.
Judge Mendoza enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduating from high school and participated in combat operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He earned both his undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from West Virginia University.
The U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Judge Mendoza for the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, and he is expected to receive his Commission as a Federal Judge from the President early next week. His service for the Seventh Judicial Circuit will conclude in early July, after which he will be sworn in and will preside over cases in Orlando.
Judge Wolfe currently presides over family law cases in St. Johns County and the St. Johns County Juvenile Drug Court. Wolfe was elected to the bench in 2006. Before becoming a judge, he was a general magistrate and child support enforcement hearing officer for the Seventh Judicial Circuit. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a juris doctor from Stetson University.
“Judge Wolfe has many years of criminal law experience, including many years in Putnam County, and he was the perfect selection for this division,” said Chief Judge Perkins. “I know he will be as missed in St. Johns County as much as he will be welcomed in Putnam.”
The circuit judge vacancy created in St Johns County will be filled through the appointment process. The Seventh Judicial Circuit Judicial Nomination Commission will conduct interviews and will choose a short list of candidates, from which Governor Rick Scott will make the appointment.