By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — Judge Jonathan P. Hein announced he is stepping down.
After three decades in elective office: six in the prosecutor’s office and 24 in the court, Judge Hein announced Monday morning he was stepping down as Judge. He said there is not one factor he could prioritize for this decision, but the whole mix would be the fact this is a good time to help the next judge be successful.
Judge Hein said there is no medical reasoning behind his decision, but it would not be fair to the new judge and staff if he cannot finish a whole term. He said he does not want to start a term he cannot finish as it would be unfair to the voters, the staff, and the next judge.
“The best continuity for the court is to retire early with a strong staff,” Judge Hein said. “Don’t wait too long.”
Judge Hein said thinking about continuity, there needs to be another judge. He believes right now is the best time to do so because of the staff currently on hand and their ability to run the courtroom well. Judge Hein said he should give the staff all the credit.
“The best way to make the next judge successful is to let those people help the next judge and work with them,” Hein said.
Hein did not start last year with the idea of stepping down, but he began looking at the process in a new light after personal experiences came into play. He began to look at the experience from another judge’s perspective and deemed an earlier step down better for the court.
“I’m not retiring. I still need to do something else. Right now, I don’t have a clue what that something is and that is okay,” he said.
He said you do not always have to know what is next, but there will be something next. You just have to keep moving, and retirement is not in the Bible. Though he may be stepping down, he is doing so with the confidence the next judge will get a head start with a good staff, and in turn, it will be better for the community.
“I think we all have a need to make a better community,” Hein said.
It has been a really good career, Judge Hein added.
To contact Daily advocate reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].