Following a brief executive session, the Denison City Council appointed Ashley Sims as its new associate municipal judge Monday evening. This appointment will help fill a need for magistration services for the city jail and municipal courts, Denison officials said.


“I am really honored,” Sims, a Bells native, said Thursday. “I just graduated law school and it isn’t often you are given this opportunity at this point in your career. So I am grateful that they are willing to let me do this.”


In this position, Sims will assist the city through the magistration of misdemeanor cases for the city’s jail. Within 24 hours of arrest, Sims said she will handle the arraignment and set the bond amount.


The move to hire an additional municipal judge comes as the city is looking to improve its system for handling municipal court cases, City Manager Jud Rex said. During Monday’s executive session, the council discussed Sims’ hiring under a discussion on “laws on magistration duties and adding an additional alternative judge position.”


“The city is establishing new procedures for magistration based on changes to state law and to improve the flow of cases through our municipal court system,” Rex said via email.


Sims said the duties as municipal judge are not expected to take a great deal of her time, and will likely only be an hour or two each day. Through this, Sims, who graduated from the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law, said she hopes to gain additional experience that she can use later in her career.


“Ashley recently completed law school and is looking for work that will provide her legal-related experience,” Rex said. “Magistration duties will not require a significant amount of time, approximately one hour per day, and Ashley indicated this schedule will work well for her.”


Rex added Sims’ term will be through December, at which time the council could reappoint her to the position if the members so chose. This would put Sims in line with the same terms set for the other municipal judges, he said.