KEYSER - A circuit judge representing Grant, Mineral and Tucker Counties announced on July 13 that he was retiring after 17 years of service.
Circuit Judge Phil Jordan notified Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that he plans to retire on Dec. 31.
"I hope to continue to serve the judicial system as a senior status judge, a mediator, and, perhaps, as an arbitrator," Jordan said in his letter to Tomblin.
Jordan is a trained mediator.
Jordan said he and his wife of 31 years, Wilma, also plan to travel.
Tomblin will appoint a successor to serve the final year of Jordan’s term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2016.
Voters will choose among candidates to serve an eight-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. That election will be held May 3, 2016 and will be bi-partisan.
Jordan received the second-highest score out of 98 judges or judicial candidates in the most recent Judicial Evaluation Poll by the West Virginia State Bar.
Attorneys who appear before each judge were asked in a confidential poll to assess each judge or candidate in the categories of decisiveness, integrity, moral courage, impartiality, promptness, diligence and legal ability. Jordan was rated a 3.9, with 4.0 being perfect.
During his time on the bench, Jordan has taken a special interest in cases involving children.
He founded the first Juvenile Re-Entry Court in the country, which the U. S. Department of Justice selected as a national model.
Jordan has served on the faculty of the National Conference on Juvenile Justice and was the first judicial official to receive the Champion For Children Award presented by the West Virginia Child Care Association.
In 2014, Jordan was chosen to serve as a special justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court.
Before taking the bench, Jordan served as prosecuting attorney of Mineral County, assistant prosecuting attorney for Hampshire County and as a defense attorney.
He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society.
Jordan is a former journalist and served as press secretary for Congressman Harley O. Staggers Sr. from 1971 through 1980.
His law degree is from Catholic University and he is a graduate of West Virginia University, Potomac State College and Keyser High School.