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Steve Milla turns down Kitzhaber's appointment for personal reasons

A Beaverton lawyer recently appointed by the governor to the Washington Country Circuit Court passed up the job last week for personal reasons. The governor's office is in the process of finding his replacement.

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced June 10 the appointment of Steve G. Milla to fill a vacancy on the Washington County Circuit Court created by the appointment of Judge Marco Hernandez to the United States District Court. Though the training and transition process was already underway, Milla informed the governor's office of his decision to not take the job on June 20.

'It was a decision based on family issues that I didn't anticipate at the front end of the process. It would just be harder on my family than I thought,' Milla said. 'It was nothing with the position or the bench.'

He plans to continue his private practice representing individuals in civil and criminal matters with a focus on personal injury litigation.

Milla was slated to begin the job on July 5.

The governor is currently reviewing his options and should have a decision on how to move forward with the appointment process within the next two weeks. Kitzhaber is exploring whether or not the appointment process has to be reopened or if an appointment can be made from the initial pool of applicants, according to a representative from the governor's office.