Wyoming Circuit Court Judge Warren McGraw is retiring after more than two decades on the bench.
n a letter to Gov. Jim Justice announcing the move, McGraw, 82, cited “physical impairments due to Parkinson’s Disease.” His retirement takes effect June 21.
McGraw took over as 27th Circuit Court judge in 2009 after serving six years as a state Supreme Court justice.
Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and Justice Bill Wooton issued statements about McGraw’s retirement Friday.
“Judge McGraw has dedicated his life to serving the people of West Virginia. I’m saddened to learn of his health concerns and truly wish him the very best,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure his decision to resign was a difficult one, but he did so knowing it was in the best interest of the important work he does each and every day as a judge.”
“Warren McGraw is a skilled lawyer and jurist with a lifetime of public service, including two terms as President of the West Virginia Senate and a Supreme Court Justice,” Wooton said. “It is sad news that my long-term friend will be stepping down from the bench of the Circuit Court in his beloved Wyoming County. That he will do so on West Virginia Day is most fitting, as he is truly a great West Virginian and a part of West Virginia history. I wish he and his wife Peggy all the best in their well-earned retirement.”
McGraw is the brother of former state attorney general Darrell McGraw.
McGraw began his political career in 1968, when he was elected to the state House of Delegates. He won election to the state Senate in 1972, served three straight terms and was Senate president from 1980-85. He joined Wyoming County’s board of education in 1986 before being elected county prosecuting attorney.
In 1998, McGraw won a seat on the state Supreme Court of Appeals and later served as chief justice. He captured Circuit Court elections in 2008 and 2016.
Justice can appoint McGraw’s replacement to serve the remaining two-and-a-half years of his term until the next election.