A retiring judge received accolades Thursday from other professionals in the criminal justice field.
Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Walsh will be retiring at the end of the year.
The county’s criminal justice advisory board, which Walsh has led for years, recognized him with an award, scrapbook and remarks.
Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel joined a roomful of people in thanking Walsh for his 15 years on the bench, specifically highlighting the judge’s work with the criminal justice advisory board. Wetzel, a former Franklin County Jail warden, said Walsh demonstrated leadership and made the board’s work a public, transparent process.
Walsh started the board at a time when “reality in Franklin County changed and crime was up,” Wetzel said.
The Franklin County Criminal Justice Advisory Board — whose members include the district attorney, Day Reporting Center director, warden and commissioners — takes responsibility for many initiatives associated with crimes and corrections.
Commissioner Bob Thomas also expressed gratitude for Walsh’s leadership, referencing the judge’s efforts to form the advisory board 13 years ago.
“Putting it together was not an easy task,” Thomas said.
“We’re all integral parts of a significant system. ... We all need to pull together, rather than pulling separately,” Walsh said.
The commissioners presented Walsh with the new “Judge Richard J. Walsh Award,” which will be presented every other year to someone in the criminal justice system.
The 2013 election process will determine who fills Walsh’s role on the bench.