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Last day on the bench for Judge Spahn

Updated: Thursday, July 31 2014, 12:57 PM EDT
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- Steubenville Municipal Court Judge Daniel Spahn's nearly 13-year run on the bench came to a close Thursday after a warm and emotional welcome into the courtroom.
It was an entrance Spahn won't soon forget. A crowd full of familiar faces offered their applause, their show of support for the work Spahn has been able to accomplish since taking the bench in January 2002.
“That's part of the reason it's hard to leave this job,” Spahn said. “You could feel it was a good time, a good moment and it was important to me. I very much appreciate it.”
The appreciation goes both ways. Many Thursday, including his clerk of 9 years Beth Vergitz, used words like compassionate and fair to describe him. Others listed his notable contributions to the community, like helping to implement drug court.
“Without him, I don't think it worked like that because of his sincere capacity, and focus, and real love for wanting people to get drug free," Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Edward Littlejohn said.
Adding to Spahn’s list of successes is a community service program, which is a house arrest program for when jail space is not available.
While Spahn admitted the job came with frustrations, there were many people there to see him through.
“The staff has been very helpful, and I have to thank my wife and family for their support,” Spahn said. “I say my prayers every day and ask for strength from the Lord.”
A new chapter begins for Spahn on Friday when he'll begin providing legal counsel for the Jefferson County Educational Service Center. That center serves five other school districts in the area as well.
“He was dedicated and committed, and the most important thing was his courage of conviction. It’s a huge loss to the city of Steubenville, but his new employers gain,” Judge Joseph Corabi said.
As for Municipal Court, until the next judge is appointed, three out-of-town retired judges will rotate taking the bench.

Last day on the bench for Judge Spahn

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