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Groh resigns as W.Va. circuit judge to take seat on federal bench

March 19, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Gina Groh
Gina Groh

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Judge Gina M. Groh, whose nomination to the federal bench was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate, resigned Monday from her seat in the state 23rd Judicial Circuit.

Groh, 47,  informed state Supreme Court Chief Justice Menis Ketchum in a faxed letter that her resignation was effective at noon.

“I look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss the friends I have made in the state court system,” Groh said in the letter, which state Supreme Court spokesperson Jennifer Bundy said was received Monday morning.

“Thank you, the other justices, Steve Canterbury, Rory Perry and all of the other folks at the administrative office for the support and opportunities you have provided me during the last several years,” Groh wrote.

“I have enjoyed my time on the state court bench.”

Bundy said the chief justice had not named anyone to replace Groh, noting any replacement would only assume the circuit judge’s duties until the governor appoints someone to complete Groh’s unexpired eight-year term, which ends in 2016.

Groh’s resignation effectively allows President Barack Obama to sign her commission to the federal bench and take the oath of office as a U.S. district court judge for the Northern District of West Virginia. Groh is expected to serve at the U.S. courthouse in Martinsburg, which has been without a sitting judge since 2006, when Judge Craig Broadwater died. The federal building was dedicated in Broadwater’s honor last year.

Groh was appointed to the state bench in 2006 by then Gov. Joe Manchin and successfully won election to an eight-year term in 2008.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint Groh’s replacement after the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission interviews applicants and recommends three finalists for the governor’s consideration, spokeswoman Kimberly Osborne said Thursday.

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