Harb Is Chosen as New Circuit Judge; Appointed by Gov. Scott Monday


Published: Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:57 p.m.

LAKELAND | Jalal Harb, a veteran prosecutor working for State Attorney Jerry Hill in Bartow, was appointed to the 10th Judicial Circuit bench by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday.

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Harb

Harb was one of three candidates recommended to Scott by the 10th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. The governor then interviewed each candidate before making his decision to appoint Harb.

Harb, 56, will fill the vacancy created by the death late last year of Circuit Judge Karla Wright. He has served as an assistant state attorney in the 13th Circuit in Tampa and in the 10th Circuit in Bartow, and has more than 24 years experience as a prosecutor.

Harb was born in Nazareth, Israel, and came to the United States to study.

He is a 1984 graduate of the James Madison School of Public Affairs at Michigan State University and received his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1987.

Harb, began working for Hill in 1988, jokingly told The Ledger once that he wanted a warmer climate.

He left the 10th Judicial Circuit in 2001 to work in Hillsborough County as a homicide prosecutor, returning to the 10th Circuit in 2012.

In 2010, Harb was recognized as the state's outstanding prosecutor by the Florida Prosecuting Attorney's Association.

Harb and wife, Ola, have two children and have lived in Polk County even during his work in Hillsborough County.

Nick Sudzina, the court administrator, said Harb would enter training for new judges in February and his first assignment as a circuit judge will be in the Family Court Division.

The 10th Judicial Circuit includes Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.

Scott still has one more circuit court vacancy to fill in the 10th Judicial Circuit.

[ Bill Rufty can be reached at 802-7523 or bill.rufty@theledger.com. ]

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