PARKERSBURG - Three decades after she began working in the Wood County Magistrate Court office, Magistrate Donna Jackson will soon say goodbye, but she will just move from one court to another.
On Friday, Jackson was honored with a reception to mark the end her career with the court.
Jackson declined to run for a sixth term as magistrate in this year's election.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Wood County Magistrate Donna Jackson holds a plaque presented to her at a reception to mark the end of her term as a magistrate.
She began work with the court as a deputy clerk when the magistrate court system was created to replace the justice of the peace system in the late 1970s. Jackson served as a deputy clerk for 16 years. For the past 20 years, she has been a magistrate, first elected to office in 1992.
While her term in magistrate court is coming to an end, on Jan. 1 Jackson will become the judge for the West Central Drug Court.
"I'll still be around the court and (Wood Circuit) Judge J.D. Beane has been gracious enough to allow us to use his courtroom for the court on Friday afternoons," she said.
Jackson said the position as drug court judge will not have her working as many hours as she worked as a magistrate.
"Hopefully I'll be able to spend more time with my children and grandchildren," she said. "And, maybe I'll learn to play golf with my husband."
Jackson said when she takes over for Beane, it will be her second stint as drug court judge.
"I did it for Judge Jeffrey Reed (the first judge of the court when it began five years ago) from January through June to give him a little break," she said. "He decided he did not want to do it so Judge Beane did it for the rest of the year."
Jackson said Beane took over with one condition.
"He did it with the agreement that I come back and take over in January," she said. "It will have me working only for a short time."
At the end of Friday's reception, the magistrate assistants and magistrates, including the county's newest magistrate, Joe Kuhl, were sworn in.
Kuhl, a former Parkersburg Police lieutenant, was elected to the court on Nov. 6, finishing fourth with 15,085 votes, or 14.35 percent of the votes in the seven-candidate field. Kuhl retired from the police department with 30 years of service.