DuBOIS — Longtime DuBois Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford has retired.
Clearfield County District Court Administrator for the 46th Judicial District, F. Cortez “Chip” Bell, confirmed Tuesday that Ford’s resignation was effective at the close of business on Oct. 15.
“He (Ford) did not give a reason,” said Bell. “He just wrote a letter to the governor resigning his commission. Of course, since he’s employed by the AOPC, the Administrative Office Of Pennsylvania Courts, he provided a copy to them and a copy to me as court administrator.”
Ford, who declined comment, has served as the district judge in DuBois since 1994 and was re-elected to his fifth term in 2017. District judges are elected for a six-year term, which means his term expires the first Monday in January 2024, said Bell.
Until it is determined how the unexpired seat will be filled, the county has sufficient coverage in the DuBois office, Bell said.
“We are using the other three magisterial district justices that we have in the county,” said Bell. “They’re filling in. Plus we have two senior MDJs, Jim Hawkins, who was down in the Houtzdale office, Rich Ireland, who was in the Clearfield office. They are also covering for us. We have a rotating schedule. There’s going to be an MDJ there to continue to do hearings, all that sort of stuff.”
Bell said he is waiting to hear back from the AOPC regarding what the procedure is to fill the vacant magistrate seat.