78th District Judge Barney Fudge retires

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WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS (KFDX/KJTL)— After 10 years of trying cases in 78th District Court, Judge Fudge said he’s not sure what he wants to do next, all he knows is it’s time for relaxation.

Judge Barney Fudge was sworn into office back in 2009 and has tried criminal and civil cases in 78th District Court since then. He says finally, it’s time to call it quits.

“I’ve, for decades, gotten up at 5:30 in the morning. I was raised on a farm. So I’ve worked pretty much all my life and I’m looking forward to figuring out what I’m going to do without having to work,” Fudge said.

Fudge was a partner in the Law Offices of Fudge and Elder, and since being appointed District Judge in July 2009 by Governor Rick Perry, to replace Roy Sparkman, he’s been going non-stop. That’s something District Attorney John Gillespie said speaks volumes about Fudge’s character.

“Judge Fudge is a man of integrity, of character, he is a public servant and he is also a very kind man,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie didn’t just work next to Judge Fudge, he lived his life alongside him. Fudge was Gillespie’s baseball coach years ago, and Gillespie said Fudge has had a lasting impact on his life.

“I’ve known Judge Fudge my whole life. I went to Texas A&M and then law school and I talked to Judge Fudge about what I should major in, so he’s had a big impact on my career and then getting to work with him for the past decade when he’s been on the bench has been incredible,” Gillespie said.

Fudge said most of all, he will miss those folks he worked with like Gillespie.

“I’ve been able to make some really nice relationships that I wouldn’t have had but for being a judge and I probably won’t be able to see some of those people as often as I have in the past so ill probably miss those people the most,” Fudge said.

“He is such a good judge, a fair judge but also tough on crime and he’s just a good man and they don’t make them like Barney Fudge, he will be missed by all of us,” Gillespie said.

People can go online and fill out appointments and judicial applications. Then the governor’s appointment officer will make recommendations. Gov. Greg Abbott will have the final say.

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