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Former Heber councilmember, attorney nominated for 4th District Court judgeship

Ryan Stack lives in Heber, where he formerly served on both the city planning commission and council.
Summit County
Ryan Stack lives in Heber, where he formerly served on both the city planning commission and council.

If appointed, Ryan Stack would be the second judge to come out of the Summit County Attorney's Office in the past year.

The 4th District Judicial Nominating Commission has nominated five candidates to replace 4th District Court Judge Robert Lund, who will retire in January 2025.

Utah’s 4th District spans Wasatch, Utah, Juab and Millard counties. A former federal prosecutor, Lund has served as a judge in Provo since 2020.

Among the nominees is Ryan Stack, a former Heber City councilmember who has been with the Summit County Attorney’s Office for more than a decade. He was a prosecutor from 2011 until 2020, when he moved to the county’s civil division.

Stack assists the Summit County Health Department, Board of Adjustment, Park City Fire District, North Summit Fire District, North Summit Recreation and other special service districts in legal matters.

He lives in Heber, where he served on the planning commission from 2015 to 2019 and the city council from 2020 to 2023.

If Stack is chosen, he would be the second member of the Summit County Attorney’s Office appointed to a judgeship in a year. Former prosecutor Janet Elledge took the Summit County Justice Court bench in December.

In a statement Stack says he’s honored to have been nominated but knows there’s a lengthy selection process ahead.

“This has long been my goal,” he said, “and I have deep respect and admiration for our system of government and the separation of powers.”

Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson says he’s well-prepared with both criminal and civil experience.

“We're really happy for him,” she said. “It's tough competition, of course, but the governor has done a really great job in selecting judges in the state. We have a very well-qualified bench, and Ryan will fit right in.”

The other 4th District nominees are Joshua Esplin, chief counsel at the Utah County Public Defenders Association; Tony Graf, deputy Davis County Attorney; Shawn Howell, also an attorney at the Utah County Public Defenders Association; and Kasey Wright, an attorney in private practice in Mona, Utah.

The nominating commission is collecting public comments until noon Monday, July 8. Those can be mailed to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice or sent via email to judicialvacancies@utah.gov.

After the public comment period, the commission will forward its recommendations to Gov. Spencer Cox, who will have 30 days to make an appointment. Under Utah law, the state Senate must confirm any judicial appointment.