Shelby County Judge Guy Griffin says goodbye to the bench

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Shelby County residents stopped by the courthouse this afternoon to say farewell to a district judge.

Being a lawyer was the family business, so of course Judge Griffin followed in his families footsteps.

Griffin said, "I came back to practice with my father back in 1978 and practice with him and my brother John and of course we're a family practice, my mother and my sister were there too and we practiced until I got elected to the office in 1997."

Republican Charles "Brick" Dickerson of Carthage unseated Griffin in the 123rd district by a narrow margin of votes, 51% to Griffin's 49% in this past election.

Griffin's words of advice for Dickerson, "look out".

Griffin said, "It's a different job that when you were a lawyer so it's a totally different aspect. You look at both sides. You don't advocate for one side or the other but it's a wonderful experience."

During his 16 years on the bench, Griffin has presided over many cases, including a case that caught the eye of Hollywood.

"I guess you get notoriety just out of being there. I did try the State of Texas Vs. Bernie Tiede remember the case in Carthage. They made a movie out of that. I tried that one," he said.

Griffin says he and his wife are going on a road trip at the first of the year with only one requirement.

"We wouldn't get on an interstate highway. We're just going to try and travel back roads. We've always enjoyed going across Texas. We really enjoy the Southwest and the beauty out there and we really enjoy hiking so we're going to look forward to going places and doing some more hiking," said Griffin.

Judge Griffin says he has mixed feelings about leaving but he says he wants everyone to know how much he loved the job and how much it meant to him.

Griffin says he will continue to visit the different districts in Shelby and Panola counties and he will also be a visiting judge from time-to-time. In fact, he already has some assignments lined up for 2013.

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