Day leaves school board to become circuit judge

2013-07-06T08:30:00Z Day leaves school board to become circuit judgeMilo Dailey Butte County Post staff Rapid City Journal

Belle Fourche School board president Mike Day officially left his seat June 24 as he prepared to take on his new office as circuit court judge headquartered in Belle Fourche.

A circuit court judge may not hold a school board office.

"I really enjoyed my three years on the board," Day said.

He added, "I am very humbled to be selected by the governor to be a circuit court judge."

His resignation left a vacancy on the board.

Board members interviewed three people who registered interest in the seat.

Sue Broadhurst, formerly Sue Whitman had served two previous terms on the board. Letitia Potvin-Fashbaugh is a longtime school teacher who recently moved to the Belle Fourche area. Mike Tyndall is a 22-year resident of Belle Fourche who works at First Interstate Bank and has two children in the school system.

After the interviews, the board selected Tyndall for the vacant seat that would last one year until next year's board election.

Day said he plans to take office as a circuit judge in South Dakota’s Fourth Judicial Circuit early in July.

His appointment was announced in April by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. He replaces retiring Circuit Judge John Bastian of Belle Fourche.

The Fourth Circuit includes Butte, Corson, Dewey, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, Perkins and Ziebach counties.

A Winner native, Day, now 54, came to Belle Fourche in 1983 to join a law practice after his graduation from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

He has been active in the community, including service on the school board, Northern Hills United Way, Belle Fourche Area Community Foundation, Knights of Columbus and Butte County Teen Court. He is a past president of the South Dakota State Bar and state Trial Lawyers Association, and he has been a member of the state's Board of Minerals and Environment.

He and his wife Mary, a CPA and Belle Fourche High School business teacher, have three daughters, including one still at home.

Day currently is a partner with Bob Morris at Day Morris in Belle Fourche but will leave that law practice.

A Fourth Circuit judge may find himself presiding over cases anywhere in the circuit that includes most of Northwest South Dakota. That can mean miles of travel to courtrooms in the circuit's counties each year.

Day's law practice has changed through the years, he said.

He said for many years his practice was primarily litigation, then for the past five to eight years focused on real estate and commercial law.

Although he has been active in the state's bar associations, he said that part of his career will come to a close.

"A judge is always a judge, 24-7," he said.

Day's father, Bill Day, practiced law in Winner and Sioux Falls before moving to Spearfish.

His eldest daughter, Katie, is an auditor with KPMG, a major audit, tax and advisory services firm. Middle daughter Allie is a cosmetologist in Rapid City and the youngest, Liz, will be a senior at Belle Fourche High School next year.

Gov. Daugaard said in Day's announcement, "Mike has a deep commitment to service others, and I'm pleased that he is willing to continue that service as a circuit court judge," the governor said. "He is a well-respected attorney and will do a fine job."

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