Butts County Probate Judge Vicki Johnston announced on Friday, May 4th her intention to retire from the office of Probate Judge effective at the end of 2012 and that she will not be seeking re-election to the office in the 2012 General Election. Judge Johnston, who has worked for the County for several decades is currently the longest-serving County employee in total years of service and the senior most Constitutional Officer, meaning she has held her elected office longer than any other elected official in office. She has held the office of Probate Judge since 1988 and will complete her sixth term of office at the end of this year. Prior to her first election, she worked in the Court as the Clerk for many years.

Judge Johnston has always been proud of the history of the Probate Court, which used to be called the Court of the Ordinary. Over the years, she and her staff have meticulously restored original court furniture, fixtures and records dating back to the 19th century. Much of the history of Butts County is intact because of the efforts of Judge Johnston, her staff and their predecessors who have served as guardians of these materials.

In her statement to the media on Friday, Judge Johnston remarked โ€œA probate judge wears many hats and comes in contact with people experiencing both joys and sorrows in their lives. It is indeed a position of great responsibility that I hope will be filled by a person who considers it, as I do, an honor and an opportunity to serve the citizens of Butts County.โ€

The full text of her statement will be released next week.