J. Miles Sweeney, longtime judge in Greene County, had his retirement announced today. He didn't get the chance to announce it himself; the governor's office issued a news release and buried the lede, saying Matt Blunt had appointed Bob Lawson, Jr., as a new circuit court judge -- and oh, by the way, Lawson replaces Sweeney, who resigned.
Resigned. Such a misleading word to describe the end of a jurist's career, especially one belonging to a guy like Sweeney. We had the pleasure of reporting on courts when Sweeney was on the bench, and the guy rocked. Nearly 15 years ago he was extolling the virtues of the future -- paperless court filings, wireless transmission of data, the use of bar codes and scanners to keep track of jury pools.
Now he's 62 and ready, he says, to retire. News of his departure was greeted with more than a little dismay, and the way Blunt's office handled the announcement was clumsy, at best. The hype-happy Blunt Administration didn't even have the savvy to give Sweeney a proper send-off -- and he belongs to the same Republican Party as the governor.
While chatting with Sweeney this afternoon, he said he keeps up with CHATTER. Your eyeballs have magnificent company.
Luck to you, judge. Be safe.