CHARLESTON - After 24 years of helping the public on a daily basis, Kanawha County Magistrate Judge Janie Moore has decided to spend more time taking care of her own family.

Moore announced her retirement May 23, which is effective June 30.

"The only reason I'm retiring is for family reasons," Moore said. "My family needs me at this point."

Moore, who was elected magistrate in 1984, said she has been pondering retirement for a while and decided it was time to help her family, particularly her mother and sister.

"They need me right now," she said. "My family needed to come first for a change."

Chief Magistrate Joe Shelton, who has worked with Moore for more than 30 years, called her a pioneer, citing her leadership through technological advancements, with computers and other new systems coming into the courts.

"She's absolutely as good a magistrate as any in the state," Shelton said. "She's going to be sadly missed."

Shelton also said whoever replaces Moore, who served as chief magistrate is 1998, will have big shoes to fill.

Kanawha Chief Circuit Judge Charlie King will appoint an interim magistrate to serve until the end of her term, which runs through 2008.

Moore has served on several committees around the state, including the education committee in the state Supreme Court. She says she plans to remain active in the courts and had applied with the Supreme Court to be a senior status magistrate.

Her role in that capacity will be to travel around the state and fill in for magistrates who cannot be in office. The job will also allow Moore to do what she says she will miss the most, communication with the public.

"I'm a very people-oriented person," Moore said. "I love helping people, I like to talk to the public.

"Who knows, maybe later on I'll be back, but right now my family needs me."

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