The Des Moines Register
Saturday, June 1, 1996, Page 3M.

State legislator wants
change regarding judges

     Clive, Ia. - A state senator, upset with the sentencing of 
former Urbandale police officer James Trimble, suggested Friday 
that senior judges should not be allowed to decide such cases.
     Sen. 0. Gene Maddox, R-Clive, complained in a newsletter 
that senior judges - who are retired but fill in on the bench 
when needed - are not answerable to the public.
     "I believe we should change the law to add more 
accountability for senior judges and/or to limit their 
jurisdiction to non-criminal offenses," he wrote.  Maddox, a 
former mayor of Clive, sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and 
is up for relection in the fa11.
     Unlike their full-time colleagues, senior judges are not 
subjected to periodic voter approval.
     The senior judge in the Trimble case, former Iowa Appeals 
Court judge Leo Oxberger, could not be reached for comment 
     Oxberger sentenced Trimble to probation and 100 hours of 
oommunity service after Trimble had been arrested with $20,000 
worth of methamphetamine, which he admitted stealing from a 
police evidence locker.  Prosecutors had argued that Trimble 
should go to prison because he violated the public trust as an 
anti-drug officer in Urbandale schools.