BELMONT COUNTY'S judicial system is losing one of its fixtures.
That is because Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer L. Sargus has announced her plans to step down at month's end.
Her mid-week announcement surprised many and disappointed almost all. She served on the bench for 24 years, and she did it exceedingly well. Sargus was what all judges need to be: tough but fair. She was that and more, always exhibiting class while dispensing compassion when need be.
Sargus owns the distinction of being Belmont County's first woman judge. We can't think of a better choice.
She came well groomed for the challenge. Both of her parents were attorneys, and her mother also became a judge. Sargus followed in those footsteps with unbridled conviction.
Sargus has prided herself on fairness and upholding the high standards of our legal system. For that, she was held in high regard by her peers.
Her departure creates a void that will be tough to fill. Her replacement will be appointed by Gov. John Kasich to serve on an interim basis. Those interested in the position must declare candidacy for the upcoming election.
Sargus is retiring for all the right reasons. She wants to spend more time with her family, including her 92-year-old mom who has experienced health issues. When not spending time with the family, Sargus will teach a class at The Ohio State University's law school this fall.
Jennifer has not ruled out a return to the bench somewhere down the road. We hope that is a scenario that plays out.
We thank Judge Jennifer Sargus for her 24 years of superlative service as Belmont County Common Pleas Court judge. She has made Belmont County a safer and nicer place to reside.