With the exodus of District Judge Ronald Horner, the Centre Region judges will find themselves handling some extra cases this summer.
Horner filled the seat for magisterial district 49-2-01 in 2015 after the sudden resignation of Leslie Dutchcot. The district covers Ferguson, Halfmoon and Patton townships and the north and west voting districts of College Township.
The Centre County Court Administrator’s office confirmed Horner’s resignation Thursday, saying the office is busiest during the school year. Cases drop off during the summer, during which time the remaining judges will fill in.
Horner cited personal reasons for stepping down Thursday, saying it was time for someone younger to take over and bring in some new ideas. He explained he was a police officer for 20 years before being appointed a judge in 1987, finally being appointed a senior judge in 2003.
While he could stay in the position of a senior judge until 2023, he said, it was time for he and his family to spend more time together. He will step down next week.
“I hope people remember me for being fair and impartial,” he said.
A majority of cases that would normally fall to Horner will be instead handled by District Judge Steven Lachman, assistant court administrator Jamie Narehood said. Lachman will also conduct hearings at the West College Avenue court.
Once fall comes, she said, the court will re-evaluate the case load. Should the need for another judge arise, the court can put in a request with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts for another judge to serve until the fall’s newly elected judge takes over.