Monroe County judge reverses retirement decision after JQC closes her case

Monroe County Probate Judge Karen Pitman said Thursday she is in the process of withdrawing her retirement, which was scheduled to take place in December.

The decision came just hours after the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission ruling that it was going to end an inquiry about alleged irregularities in the process of uniform traffic citations in Probate Court.

With Pitman’s initial decision to retire before the commission voted on whether to hold a formal hearing about the matter, the JQC published that the matter was “concluded” because of the retirement.

With Pitman’s decision not to go through with a retirement, it’s now unclear what that means for the case. Attempts to reach JQC officials Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Pitman, who also serves as the county’s elections supervisor, said the reason she was considering retirement had nothing to do with the JQC inquiry. She said she was having “personal challenges” and that her work was taking away from time with her family. After initially deciding to retire Dec. 15, Pitman said she had a change of heart.

Pitman said there wasn’t a formal complaint filed with the commission. Instead, officials had come in for an audit and found that Probate Court was behind in reporting its offender tracking numbers, Pitman said. The reason those numbers weren’t available on time was due to computer issues involving the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, she said.

Pitman, 50, has served as probate judge since being elected in 1999. She most recently won re-election in 2012.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.