Thursday, March 9, 2006
Judge T.K. Herman Sets Working Retirement
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas K. Herman is retiring, but does not plan to be off the bench for very long, the jurist said yesterday.
Talk of his retiring is “a vicious rumor,” the 66-year-old jurist quipped. Actually, he will be on vacation after tomorrow and will officially retire April 21, but has advised court officials that he will be available to sit on assignment after June 1.
“I just decided I wanted to work part-time rather than fulltime,” he explained, and hopes to work about six months out of the year. He said he was looking forward to having more time for his family—he has two grandchildren “with more coming, hopefully”—and for fishing.
His wife, he added, is making of a list of “honey-do’s” that should take him about three months to complete.
Herman was appointed to the old Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1995 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, after having been a deputy district attorney for 27 years, with four months out for private practice in the 1970s. He was elevated to the Superior Court through unification in 2000.
He graduated from UCLA in 1962 after transferring from the University of Nevada. He went to the Reno school on a football scholarship, but a knee injury ended his athletic career.
He graduated from Arizona State University School of Law in 1968 after a two-year stint in the military, where he worked on investigations.
He had a wide variety of assignments as a prosecutor, including administrative posts in West Los Angeles, Compton, and Santa Monica. He also achieved a degree of notoriety for his willingness and ability to fix up office space with his own hands and tools rather than pass on costs to the taxpayers.
When he gives up his chambers at the Airport Courthouse tomorrow, he explained, he will bequeath to his replacement—Judge Scott Millington is moving from Downey—a table he built himself in order to save the county $2,000.
While he never wanted to be known has the courthouse handyman, he explained, “there’s a certain element of responsibility to be as frugal as possible” when one serves the public.
Having spent nearly all of his career in criminal law, Herman said he prefers criminal work as a judge, although he did sit in civil court for 18 months. He currently hears Proposition 36 cases and is concluding a misdemeanor trial before his departure, he said.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company