Gov. Dayton elevates Cleary to chief of Appeals Court

Gov. Mark Dayton  has appointed Judge Edward Cleary to be chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Cleary will take the top position Nov. 1, replacing Judge Matthew Johnson.

Judge Edward J. Cleary will be the new chief judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. (MPR News Photo/Mark Zdechlik)

In accepting the appointment at a state Capitol news conference, Cleary spoke about the collaborative nature of the appeals court which Dayton appointed him to in 2011.

“We have 19 members, appointed by five different governors from three different political parties and yet we work very, very well together,” said Cleary. “And the reason we work well together is because we respect each other. No one got there by accident. It’s a highly intelligent group that works very hard. We challenge each other’s assumptions. We bring each other’s life experiences to the table and the result, I think, is that the citizens of this state are served very well.”

Gov. Jesse Ventura appointed Cleary to the 2nd  Judicial District Court in 2002. Cleary has also worked as civil and criminal defense attorney and a public defender.