Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint Patrick Smith as a circuit judge in South Dakota's First Judicial Circuit.
Smith will fill the vacancy created earlier this year by the retirement of Judge Sean O'Brien. The First Circuit includes Aurora, Bon Homme, Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, Clay, Davison, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, McCook, Turner, Union and Yankton counties.
"Pat is a well-respected prosecutor and a leader in the Mitchell community," Daugaard said. "The voters of Davison County have trusted Pat to serve them as their state's attorney, and I'm pleased that he will be serving the entire First Circuit as judge."
Smith, a native of Mitchell, has been the Davison County state's attorney since 1998.
"I want to thank Gov. Daugaard for this opportunity," Smith said. "I care deeply about my community, and I will work hard to serve the people of the First Circuit in this new role."
Smith is a graduate of Mitchell High School. He attended the University of South Dakota, where he earned his bachelor's degree in business and graduated in 1989. Smith is a 1992 graduate of the USD School of Law, where he was a member of the South Dakota Law Review.
Following law school, Smith returned to Mitchell, where he had a general private practice that included civil law and criminal defense. Smith was elected Davison County state's attorney in 1998, and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
As a prosecutor, Smith speaks frequently at local schools and colleges and has taught at Dakota Wesleyan University. He is a Mitchell High School Show Choir parent and volunteers with that organization, and is active in the Mitchell Rotary Club. He and his wife, Veronnica, have four children: Shea, DJ, Emmy and Andrew.