Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Jalilah Otto as Associate Judge for the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County on Tuesday.

Otto will fill the Division 26 vacancy that was previously held by the Honorable Kenneth R. Garrett, who was earlier appointed by Nixon as Circuit Judge for Division 2 at the Independence Courthouse.

“Jalilah Otto has done tremendous work as a public servant in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting difficult cases,” said Nixon in a written statement. “I am pleased to appoint her as Associate Circuit Judge to serve the people of Jackson County from the bench.”

Before Otto’s appointment as associate judge, she was the chief trial assistant for the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. From 2005 to 2010, she served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and in 2010 joined the United States Attorney’s Office as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where she was cross-designated to conduct criminal trials in both state and federal court.

Otto received her law degree from the University of Missouri. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Metropolitian Community College and National American University.

She was one of three applicants submitted to the Governor for consideration by the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.