HAZARD – Perry County will have a new circuit judge after the 2014 election, as Judge William Engle announced this week that he will not seek another term on the bench.
In a statement released to the Herald on Tuesday, Engle, who was first elected during a special election in 2004, said this was a decision he made with his family nearly a decade ago when he initially filed to run for circuit judge. He won his first full, eight-year term as judge in 2006 while running unopposed.
Engle will remain on the bench for the entirety of his term, which will end in 2015. He released the following statement this week:
“When my term ends in January 2015, I will retire as Perry Circuit Judge and also from the active practice of law. This is a decision my wife Donna and I made in May 2004, when I announced as a candidate for Circuit Judge. At the time of my retirement, I will have been a licensed attorney for forty years and Circuit Judge for over ten years.
“I have worked hard as your Circuit Judge and I will continue to do so until the end of my term. I do thank the people of Perry County for allowing me this honor to serve as your Circuit Judge.”
Engle had run a successful private practice in Hazard prior to his election as circuit judge, and had also previously served as county attorney. He took office as judge during a turbulent time in the courthouse, as former Judge Doug Combs had resigned amid allegations of misconduct.
After taking office, Engle quickly worked to fulfill his main campaign pledge, to establish a drug court in Perry County, which held its most recent graduation earlier this month.