11/17/06 — Judge will leave bench for state job

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Judge will leave bench for state job

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on November 17, 2006 1:45 PM

District Court Judge Rose Vaughn Williams will not seek re-election to another term and has taken a job as legislative counsel for state Insurance Commissioner Jim Long.

Long's office made the announcement this week.

Mrs. Williams has served as a district court judge since she was appointed in 2001 by Gov. Mike Easley. She was re-elected unopposed in 2004.

Easley will appoint a new judge.

Mrs. Williams will start her new job in January.

In a statement released by the Insurance Commission, she said she appreciated the support she has received while serving on the 8th Judicial District bench.

"It has been an honor to serve the people of Wayne, Lenoir and Greene Counties, and it was difficult for me to choose to step down from my seat as district court judge. But I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the Department of Insurance and the General Assembly. I have admired Commissioner Long for many years; he is a true public servant who keeps the interests of North Carolinians in mind always. I look forward to continuing my service to North Carolina under his leadership," she said.

Commissioner Long said he was pleased that Williams had decided to accept the job.

"Judge Williams earned the reputation as a fair and respected professional, both as an attorney and while on the bench. I am pleased she chose to join our staff as my legislative counsel, and I am certain she will serve as an excellent DOI representative as she works on our behalf with the General Assembly."

The 8th Judicial District includes Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties. It has five district court judges: David Brantley, Lonnie Carraway, Robert "Les" Turner, Williams and Chief District Judge Joe Setzer. Only Heath was up for re-election this year. She was re-elected unopposed.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School, Williams clerked for Associate Justice John Webb of the North Carolina Supreme Court before joining the law firm of Dees, Smith, Powell, Jarrett, Dees & Jones. Her work included personal injury, insurance defense and workers compensation practice as well as serving as a certified mediator. She also served as a member of the State Board of Elections.