Gargiulo named to federal judge post
By Dwayne Bremer
Jun 17, 2014, 20:24
Coast Circuit Court Judge John Gargiulo has been named as a federal magistrate judge and will be sworn in on Aug. 1, officials said Monday.
Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., the chief judge at the U.S. District Court in Gulfport, said Monday that Gargiulo was recently selected as the district's newest judge after longtime U.S. District Judge John Roper announced his retirement, effective July 31.
"There was a merit selection committee that looked at five area judges to fill Judge Roper's spot," Guirola said. "Judge Gargiulo was selected out of the five. I wish we could have taken all five judges, but we only had one spot."
In 2009, former Gov. Haley Barbour named Gargiulo as a circuit court judge for Hancock, Harrison, and Stone counties. Gargiulo has strong ties to Hancock County.
He is a 1985 graduate of St. Stanislaus and served as assistant district attorney here in 2006 and 2007.
Gargiulo received a full ROTC scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi and was later commissioned in the U.S. Army.
When he returned to the Coast, he attended law school at Ole Miss, but continued to serve in the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Today, Gargiulo is a commissioned officer in the Mississippi Air National Guard with a total of 19 years of military service.
After serving an associate attorney at the firm of Bryant, Clark, Dukes, Blakeslee, Gargiulo became an assistant district attorney in the Second Circuit Court District.
He is a member of St. James Catholic Church, the
Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 2539, the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast.
In the past five years, Gargiulo has presided over thousands of criminal and civil cases in circuit court.
Gargiulo said Tuesday that he is "honored" to be chosen for a federal judgeship.
"It has been a privilege to serve as circuit judge for the Second Circuit Court District of Mississippi," he said. "While I certainly enjoyed my tenure in circuit court and will forever be grateful for the experience I gained, I feel most fortunate and honored to have been selected as a United States Magistrate Judge. I am very excited and look forward to continuing my service to our state and country in this new capacity upon my appointment on Aug. 1, 2014."
Gargiulo had qualified to run for his circuit court seat in this November's election, but now the position will be open to three other candidates.
The candidates running for Gargiulo's seat in November include former Assistant District Attorney Chris Schmidt; Gulfport Municipal Judge Robert "Fant" Walker; and Gulfport attorney and city councilman Myles Sharpe.