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Cooper picks judge for panel after previous choice rejected

RALEIGH (AP) Gov. Roy Cooper wants a longtime state judge to serve on the North Carolina Industrial Commission after the General Assembly rejected a previous nominee.

Cooper announced July 27 that Judge Robby Hassell of Greensboro is his choice for the six-member panel that determines workers’ compensation awards for injured workers and handles certain claims against the state.

Hassell is an American Bar Association regional liaison and emergency Superior Court judge. He’s had previous stints as a judge, public defender and private-practice attorney.

Cooper nominated Hassell for a commission seat the law designates for someone representative of employers’ interests. Cooper previously picked Robert Harris for the slot, but legislators voted against him. Business interests argued Harris’ rulings while a deputy commissioner too often favored employees.

It’s unclear when lawmakers would consider Hassell’s nomination.

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