ST. PAUL -- A longtime public defender for the 7th Judicial District has been named as the district's newest judge.

Governor Mark Dayton has named Leonard Weiler as the replacement for Judge Skipper Pearson who retired earlier this year.

Weiler will be seated in Milaca as part of Mille Lacs County's Judge's Chambers. He has been Managing Attorney for the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender's Office and has previously managed 25 Assistant District Public Defenders in five area counties.

The Seventh Judicial District covers 10 central Minnesota counties including Stearns, Benton, Morrison, Mille Lacs and Todd Counties.