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Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday appointed longtime attorney Joseph “Ed” Edgar Brown III to fill a vacant seat on the District Court bench for the 7th Judicial District, which covers Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties.
The seat was vacated after District Court Judge John. J. Covolo died in April following a battle with bladder cancer. Covolo served on the bench for more than a decade.
“Ed has an impressive legal background and is a leader in his community,” Cooper said in a news release. “I look forward to seeing him serve his district in this new role.”
Brown, of Wilson, will now serve the remainder of Covolo’s term, which is through December 2020.
“This means a lot to me and my family and I am looking forward to a new challenge,” Brown said. “I am very fortunate that I had a tremendous amount of support that made this possible and I am thankful Governor Cooper appointed me to this position.”
Brown is also the son of retired Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Frank Brown, who served the district for more than 30 years. Brown said it’s been his goal to be a judge since he was 11 years old.
“I have the difficult task of filling Covolo’s position,” Brown added. “He was a great judge and an even greater humanitarian. I will do my best to follow in his footsteps and I look forward to this opportunity.”
Brown is currently a partner at Sallenger & Brown, LLP and has more than 28 years of private practice experience. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UNC Chapel Hill and his law degree from the N.C. Central University School of Law.
“Ed is a person of fine character, experience and ability,” said Chief District Court Judge William C. Farris. “We are really happy to have him.”
Farris said local lawyers sent the names of five “excellent” lawyers to the governor for his consideration.
“Every one of them had over 20 years of experience and impeccable character,” Farris said. “This made it a difficult but pleasant decision for the better.”
Farris said Cooper said it was the finest field of candidates the governor had considered for a judgeship in the state.