KLEW News talks to Judge William D. Acey about his decision to retire after 31 years of service in the Asotin County area.
Judge William D. Acey has more than two years left of his elected term, but Monday, the well regarded judge made the announcement he's turning in his robe."
"I'm ready," said Judge Acey. "I'm so ready to retire."
The Hell's Canyon Circuit Superior Court Judge has served Asotin, Garfield and Columbia counties for thirteen years. Before stepping into that role, he was the Asotin County District Court Judge and worked in the prosecutor's office. He's racked up nearly 31 years of service for the county and thousands of hours on the road traveling between the three counties of the Hell's Canyon Circuit .
"I haven't played golf in thirteen years," said Acey. "I'm going to take it back up. And plan to walk the dogs a lot longer and more often."
The announcement came to quite a surprise to his colleagues, and Acey said he and his wife made the decision after returning from a vacation in Arizona.
"Why are we waiting?" said Acey. "And so we made the decision to go ahead to submit the letter of resignation."
Judge Acey has been active in the fight to gain more legal rights for children in court. Executive Director Gay Lewis of Court Appointed Special Advocates said Judge Acey worked deliberately with CASA volunteers .
"He really takes our opinion into consideration when he's deciding on a difficult case or any case for that matter," said CASA Executive Director Gay Lewis.
"You are up front and personal in the lives of people in such a significant way whether it's in family law court, whether it's in criminal court their personal freedom, decisions regarding their children," said Judge Acey. "I feel like I've been a good judge and a fair judge to those who've come before me."
"I think he's going to be missed because especially because he's always so conscientious of taking care of victim's rights," said YWCA Victim's Advocate, Tom White. "And making sure the victims are heard and bent over backwards to make sure that was done."
"Somebody asked me once...when I was first running when Judge Leighton decided to retire, why are you running?" said Judge Acey. "And my answer was because I think I can make a difference. And I felt like I have."
Judge Acey said he'll continue to stay involved in projects for children's justice."
Acey's resignation is effective April 30th. He's asked Washington Governor Jay Inslee to find a replacement by that time.