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Deschutes County Judge Michael Adler retiring


A. Michael Adler, a Deschutes County Circuit Court judge for the past 22 years, announced this week that he’ll be retiring June 30, though he’ll still oversee some court proceedings for the next few years.

Adler, appointed to the bench in 1997 by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, will be taking what’s called a “Plan B” retirement for judges, serving as a senior judge to fill in for cases for the next five years or so, Deschutes County Trial Court Administrator Jeff Hall said.

Gov Kate Brown will appoint Adler’s successor. Local attorneys will vet potential candidates and submit a list of recommendations to the governor, though she is not bound to choose someone from the list, Hall explained.

Adler’s departure comes as lawmakers in Salem are considering whether to add an eighth judge to help handle Deschutes County’s growing caseload. Hall said local officials are hopeful the eighth judge will make the cut as the Legislature takes up the list and decides how many additional judges to fund.

Adler has presided over many high-profile cases in recent years, including Shantel Witt, whom he sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this year for striking and killing cyclist Marika Stone, and Edwin Lara, the former COCC campus security officer who was sentenced to life in prison without parole early last year for the 2016 abduction and murder of Kaylee Sawyer.

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