State courts ad­min­is­tra­tor gives no­tice

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - JOHN MORITZ

The long­time di­rec­tor of the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice of the Courts an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion Thurs­day, after serv­ing through the ad­min­is­tra­tions of seven chief jus­tices.

J. D. Gin­gerich, who has over­seen the of­fice tasked with as­sist­ing the op­er­a­tions of the Ar­kan­sas ju­di­ciary since 1988, will depart in mid- March to di­rect a new part­ner­ship be­tween the Na­tional Cen­ter for State Courts and the Univer­sity of Ar­kan­sas at Lit­tle Rock’s W. H. Bowen School of Law.

The res­ig­na­tion was an­nounced in a news re­lease from Chief Jus­tice Dan Kemp, who also serves as the top ad­min­is­tra­tor of the courts. The Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice of the Courts op­er­ates on be­half of the Supreme Court.

“In his role as di­rec­tor, [ Gin­gerich] has worked with judges and court em­ploy­ees in every city and county in Ar­kan­sas to as­sist in the ef­fi­cient man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion of our state court sys­tem,” Kemp wrote. “I ap­pre­ci­ate his ser­vice, lead­er­ship and wise coun­sel dur­ing his ten­ure.”

Kemp, the lat­est chief jus­tice to serve with Gin­gerich, be­gan his term on Jan. 1.

The di­rec­tor of the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice of the Courts is nominated by the chief jus­tice, sub­ject to the ap­proval of the seven-mem­ber Supreme Court and the Ju­di­cial Coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to state law.

Kemp later said in a phone call with a re­porter that he has not be­gun to con­sider whom he will nom­i­nate to fill the po­si­tion.

Gin­gerich said Thurs­day he had orig­i­nally planned to leave the po­si­tion upon the re­tire­ment of for­mer Chief Jus­tice Jim Hannah. How­ever, Hannah left the court for health rea­sons in Septem­ber 2015, be­fore the elec­tion of a new chief jus­tice last year, and Gin­gerich said he de­cided to stay on dur­ing the tran­si­tion.

“I had a hard time ac­tu­ally say­ing, ‘I’m re­sign­ing,’” Gin­gerich said. “I had a lot of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional ad­vance­ment on the job.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Ar­kan­sas Demo­crat- Gazette data­base of state salaries, Gin­gerich’s an­nual salary is $114,866.

The Lit­tle Rock law school an­nounced its part­ner­ship with the Wil­liams­burg, Va.- based non­profit ju­di­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion last fall. Ac­cord­ing to an Oc­to­ber news re­lease, the Na­tional Cen­ter for State Courts and the pub­lic law school will jointly fund the new di­rec­tor po­si­tion.

The part­ner­ship “cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity for the law school to as­sist the NCSC in con­tin­u­ing to cre­ate and de­liver world-class train­ing pro­grams for judges, ju­di­cial ad­min­is­tra­tors, and to ju­di­cial lead­ers in other coun­tries,” or­ga­ni­za­tion Pres­i­dent Mary McQueen said in the re­lease.

Ac­cord­ing to Kemp’s news re­lease, Gin­gerich is the long­est serv­ing state-court ad­min­is­tra­tor in the United States.

When he came to serve the court sys­tem nearly three decades ago, for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton was in the Gov­er­nor’s Man­sion and the chief jus­tice of the Supreme Court was Jack Wil­son Jr.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.