PRATTVILLE, AL - A longtime public servant is announcing he'll soon retire. Prattville District Court Judge Phillip Wood announced Monday that after 26 years on the Autauga County District Court bench, he will retire effective December 31st of this year.
Wood, first appointed to the bench in 1983 by then Governor George C. Wallace, has been elected on five occasions. Before becoming District Judge, Judge Wood was in the private practice of law and served on the Autauga County Commission.
He also served as a Judge Advocate in the Army Reserve and Alabama Air National Guard, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2009.
Wood has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards. He was the Judicial Conservationist of the year in 1991 and established the first Teen Court in the State of Alabama. Under Judge Wood's leadership, the Autauga County Children's Policy Council was the first council in the state to achieve the highest level obtainable. In addition to his own District Court docket, Judge Wood assisted the local circuit judges in disposition of jury cases. He was also a candidate for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in 2006.
"Judge Wood has served the citizens of Autauga County with honest and dedicated service for a long time. His advice and counsel has always been appreciated, especially when I first came to the bench back in 1996," said Ben Fuller resident Circuit Judge for Autauga County. "Phillip cares about people, he cares about families, and he cares about the citizens of Autauga County. His replacement will certainly have large shoes and a huge footprint to fill," said Fuller.
Retirement doesn't mean Judge Wood will be absent from the Autauga County Courthouse, however. He has been named to the new position of Autauga County Drug Court Judge. He'll start hearing cases in 2010.
"We are extremely proud to have a judge with the combination of experience, character, and commitment to his community to agree to serve in this most important position," said Retired District Judge Pete Johnson, who chairs the Chief Justice's Drug Court Task Force and established one of Alabama's first drug courts. "Our goal is to establish a drug court in each of Alabama's 67 counties and Judge Wood is a perfect match for us. We're certain that Judge Wood will soon have Alabama's newest drug court running smoothly," said Johnson.