San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson is bittersweet over future retirement

San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson is bittersweet over future retirement

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - A large reception was held for San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson on Tuesday.

The judge is retiring at the first of the year after 8 years of service. She chose not to run for re-election.

It was court business as usual, until the end. Judge Samye Johnson, preparing for retirement, began accepting all the good things being said about her.

The garden club brought flags.

It’s in honor of San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson for her dedicated service," said Tommie Thomas, San Augustine Garden Club president.

State Representative Trent Ashby told Johnson, "You have been an incredible, an extraordinary leader for this county."

A co-worker became emotional.

"Please know your courthouse family will always remember you," said Texas Agri-Life agent Sandy Jenkins in a shaky tone.

And when former Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt got a trophy from Johnson when he retired, he repaid the gesture.

"And this trophy says, Judge Samye Johnson, the undisputed champ," said Hunt, which brought laughter from the courtroom.

The accolades come from all walks of life involved in over 8 years of service.

Johnson joked, "But I think that should be like dog years. It's been much more than 8."

Long enough to get people working together for a common good.

"If you haven't been in county government I don't think it would be possible to understand how important those relationships are to the general well-being to the citizens," said Johnson.

Johnson built a relationship with SFA and Texas A&M. Researchers provided the data that would lead to grants for San Augustine County human services. A children's services building is worth noting.

In time of flooding, Johnson sought resources to repair roads and provide more permanent solutions.

Recognizing the county's rich history, courthouse and jail restorations were completed.

Johnson says the county is left in good hands. She anticipates a smooth transition to the incoming judge Jeff Boyd whom she has shared all her county related emails with for months.

“And I'm hoping he can come in and build on the foundations that we have begun and really get some traction going," commented Johnson.

Traction that in some capacity Johnson will be a part of, but this time as a volunteer.

The judge has no immediate schedules set for after retirement, aside from spending more time with her patient husband and doing some chores he’s already lined out around the house.

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