Wygonik appointed 19th District chief judge

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – Beginning Jan. 1, a new chief judge will oversee the day-to-day operations of 19th District Court.

Judge Richard Wyginik, who has served at the court since March 2005 following the retirement of Judge Virginia Sobotka, will take over the position of chief judge in the new year.

The announcement came Nov. 20.

Wygonik, re-elected to the bench for a full six-year term in November 2006, will replace current Chief Judge Mark Somers, who has served in that capacity for six years. Chief judges are usually named every two years.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Wygonik said. “And I’m going to do my best in trying to operate a court …”

He said it was too early to tell what his plans are for the court, but said he was both excited and trepidatious about his new duties, which include overseeing everything from supervising employee workloads to human resources issues, in addition to his regular duties as judge at the court.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad voiced his support for Wygonik.

“Judge Wygonik is well-versed in the needs of the community,” he said. “We are confident he will serve as chief judge very well.”

Michigan Supreme Court spokeswoman Marcia McBrien said justices on the Supreme Court, who appoint chief judges, prefer to have a change in leadership after a several years.

“You need to circulate the leadership positions,” she said, adding the position is not a glamorous one. “Being the chief judge is a very demanding position.”

Wygonik compared trying to anticipate the duties facing him to looking into a snow globe when its been shaken.

“It’s a little foggy right now,” he said, adding he plans to serve the court in his new capacity fairly and impartially.

“It’s my duty to be as diligent as I can possibly be,” he said. “I’m looking forward with trepidation and excitement to the new duties.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)