A former Jefferson County judge who lost re-election last year will be returning to the bench to fill the seat opened by retiring Circuit Judge Alfred Bahakel.
Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday appointed former Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge J. William "Bill" Cole to fill the vacant seat.
Bentley's spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis tells al.com that Cole "brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position and he is well qualified to serve on the court."
Even though Bahakel had about four years left on his term, state law will require Cole to seek election next year.
Cole was a criminal circuit court judge appointed in 2005. He won election in 2006, but was defeated by Tracie Todd.