Macon County Judge retires after 37 years - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Macon County Judge retires after 37 years

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TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -

Macon County's longest serving District Judge has announced he will retire when his current term expires.

Judge Aubrey Ford will not seek re-election, and will step down on Jan. 15, 2015. Ford has served Macon County for more than 37 years making him the longest tenured African-American trial judge in the history of the State of Alabama. Ford was appointed to serve as District Judge by then Gov. George C. Wallace in 1977.

"I am grateful to the Macon County community for giving me the opportunity to serve our citizens as District Judge for nearly 40 years," Judge Ford said. "What a tremendous honor to be a public servant for the people of Alabama and Macon County, and I have strived to be compassionate, patient and fair to everyone who appeared in my court."   

Judge Ford has earned many awards in his career including being a charter member and former chair of the Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution. He is the only Alabama trial judge to be elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Center of State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Judge Ford and his staff developed the Juvenile Delinquency Outreach program to give the youth viable alternative programs to deter delinquent behavior. This program has helped to keep hundreds of teenagers out of the juvenile justice system. Ford also started a Drug and Veteran's Court program to provide treatment and alternatives to incarcerations for drug and alcohol abusers accused of committing non-violent crimes.

Judge Ford has been appointed by several Alabama governors to serve many task forces and commissions during his judicial career. He has also served as a presenter and lecturer in a number of state and national meetings, and has received numerous awards for his judicial and community service.

"My wife Barbara and I are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.  We are planning to travel, dedicate more time to church and community activities, teach and continue being advocates for children and families," Ford said.

Judge Ford will continue his judicial service in retirement by serving as a private judge, a mediator and taking special appointments throughout the state.

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