Retired Athens Co. Judge To Fill Own Vacancy

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An Athens County Common Pleas Court judge retired after 20 years is filling his own vacancy.

Judge Michael Ward said he will serve a three-month term until his replacement is named.

"I indicated that when I retired that I was going to take assigned cases, and of course, there was a vacancy here," said Ward. "It's a two judge court. Because of the work load, there needed to be somebody to fill in until the Governor appoints somebody, and that's why accepted the assignment," he said.

Ward has been judge since 1992, and retired on Dec. 31, 2012. Prior to serving as a judge, he was the Athens County prosecuting attorney from 1981 to 1992.

He cited changes in the state's pension law as a reason for his retirement.

The term he retired from expires in 2016.