CHARLESTON -- After 40 years on the bench, longtime Marion Circuit Judge Fred L. Fox II is retiring.

Fox, 72, submitted his letter of resignation on Oct. 13 to Gov. Joe Manchin. His resignation will become effective Nov. 30.

Jennifer Bundy, a spokeswoman for the state Supreme Court, said Fox also sent the letter to Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis and Supreme Court Administrative Director Steve Canterbury.

In 1995, Fox served as a temporary replacement for ailing state Supreme Justice William Brotherton Jr., and he frequently sat as a replacement when justices recused themselves from cases.

Bundy said Davis has not yet appointed anyone to take Fox's place, but whoever is appointed would serve after Fox leaves the bench and until Manchin appoints a permanent replacement.

Manchin's appointee will then serve until the next general election, which is in November 2012.

Bundy said Fox is the senior circuit judge in West Virginia as he has served longer than any other circuit judge in the state.

Manchin named eight members to the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Committee in September, which screens potential candidates for the governor, who will then pick a permanent replacement. The committee is also considering openings in Cabell County, where Circuit Judge Dan O'Hanlon is leaving at the end of the month; and in the 3rd Judicial Circuit, which includes Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie counties, because of the recent death of Circuit Judge Robert L. Holland Jr.

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