Boyle magistrate retires by proxy

October 11, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Boyle Magistrate Martin G. Curtis retired today.

Ill and in a nursing home, he has not been able to attend a meeting since early March.

Curtis served the largest district in the county, District 1, which includes the West Perryville, East Perryville, Mitchellsburg, Parksville and Bluegrass precincts.

"This is a bittersweet day," said Judge-Executive Tony Wilder during a press conference today when he announced Curtis' retirement.

Curtis was declared disabled by Boyle District Court in late August. His niece, Judy Davis of Stanford, who serves as his power of attorney, submitted a letter of retirement for him.

That letter has been sent to the Governor's office, and it will fall to Gov. Ernie Fletcher to appoint someone to fill the empty seat. That appointment will serve until the next general election in November 2006, according to County Attorney Richard Campbell.


It is still unclear whether anyone will be able to vote on that district's behalf regarding a proposed tax increase. Wilder said he didn't know when the fiscal court would vote on the increase, and wasn't sure if there would be an appointment in place for that to happen. He said it would be up to the other magistrates.

"Misconceptions" about how absence was handled

At the press conference, Wilder said that there had been "misconceptions" about how his office handled Curtis' absence. He said that he has not stonewalled an appointment for political reasons, but that the vacancy was complicated legally.

Curtis didn't retire before he was declared disabled, and the disability created a "unique" legal situation because it was unclear if a disabled magistrate could retire his own seat or whether his guardian would be able to retire on his behalf.

"It was complicated," Wilder said, explaining that the situation was further complicated because ordinarily it is illegal to publicly disclose the outcome of a competency hearing.

However, Davis gave Wilder permission to discuss her uncle's condition.

Wilder said that he was uncertain that Curtis was aware of today's proceedings.

Wilder did sing Curtis' praises, saying that he had been an excellent representative for the people in Boyle County and that he had helped make vast improvements to the water lines and roadways in the county.

Nearly every household in Curtis' district now has water lines. "Martin G was a wonderful advocate for that district," Wilder said.

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