Columbia Falls selects Curtis as new judge

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Whitefish attorney Kristi L. Curtis has been selected as the new Columbia Falls city judge.

Columbia Falls City Council Monday unanimously approved the hire.

Curtis has served as Whitefish’s deputy city attorney since 2015, and prior to that served as the prosecutor for the city of Kalispell. She also has more than 30 years of law experience and was a partner in a law firm in California before moving to Whitefish 17 years ago.

She will replace longtime city judge Susan “Tina” Gordon, who retires at the end of the month after 30 years on the bench.

Curtis ran unsuccessfully this fall for the Whitefish Municipal Judge position.

Six applicants applied for the position. They were interviewed by Columbia Falls Councilors John Piper, Jenny Lovering, Mayor Don Barnhart, city co-counsel Stephanie Breck and Columbia Falls City Manager Susan Nicosia.

“It was a difficult job,” Barnhart noted.

Curtis said she looks forward to the job.

“I love criminal law,” she said. “I find it fascinating.”

City court handles misdemeanor crime cases and traffic tickets.

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