P. Thomas Thornbrugh
Thornbrugh, 64, has been a district judge since 1997, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Frank Keating. Since July 2009, Thornbrugh has been the presiding judge, chosen by his colleagues, for the judicial district that consists of Tulsa and Pawnee counties.
The job of presiding judge carries administrative and budget responsibilities and involves extra duties regarding jurors, the public and other judges.
In a move that was designated previously, District Judge William Kellough will succeed Thornbrugh as presiding judge.
Thornbrugh, who handles a civil docket, said he hopes to begin his new duties around Oct. 1.
His promotion to the appeals court will create a vacant Tulsa County district judgeship. After an application process, the state Judicial Nominating Commission will screen candidates and select finalists for the appointment, with Fallin to appoint the new district judge.
Before being appointed to the district court bench, Thornbrugh spent more than 20 years in a private law practice in Tulsa.