Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Joseph Watt announced Monday he’ll be retiring at the end of the year.
The 70-year-old Watt announced his retirement, effective on Dec. 31, in a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday.
“My years in serving as a member of the Judiciary have been the best years of my life and I have been truly blessed to serve the citizens of this great state for more than 30 years.” “I look forward to the next chapter of my life, spending more time with my grandchildren, travelling with my wife, Cathy, and taking active retired status.”
Former Gov. David Walters appointed Watt to the Supreme Court on May 17, 1992, and he has served two terms as chief justice, from 2003 until 2007.
A native of Altus, Watt was appointed to a special district judge’s seat in Jackson County in 1985 and was elected associate district judge in 1986.
“Justice Watt has served the state well while being on the bench for more than 30 years, including the past 25 years as a Supreme Court justice,” Fallin said Monday. “He’s been a man of integrity, and has served with distinction. I appreciate his knowledge, dedication and fairness while on the high court.”
Fallin will appoint a new justice to the nine-member court from among three nominees chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission. The appointment will be Fallins’ second to the court following Justice Patrick Wyrick in February.