A retiring West Virginia Supreme Court Justice was honored Thursday in Charleston for his time serving as a Kanawha County Circuit Judge.
A portrait of Justice Thomas E. McHugh was unveiled during a special ceremony held in the second floor “ceremonial” courtroom at the Kanawha County Courthouse.
Many spoke during the ceremony remembering McHugh’s time as circuit judge and McHugh said it was hard to remember back that far, but very special.
“To sit here and listen to people describe what’s occurred in the interim is sometimes very difficult to comprehend, but it’s very heartwarming that we have the people around to do that,” said McHugh. “These are very good friends and have been for a long period of time.”
McHugh served as a Kanawha County Circuit Judge from 1974 through 1980 and has many good memories from his tenure. But he said the best part was the people he met.
“The people that I worked with both here at the circuit court level and at the Supreme Court, it’s an incredibly talented group of people, the judges and the staff, they’re incredibly talented and so I remember most of them,” said McHugh.
Many distinguished guests attended the ceremony to pay tribute to McHugh including Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom, Commission President Kent Carper and Chief Justice Menis Ketchum to name a few. The courtroom was full of family and friends.
McHugh is retiring from the Supreme Court at the end of the month after serving more than 20 years as a justice, 26 years as a judicial officer and 10 years of practicing law.
McHugh said at this point in time he is not sure what he plans to do once he is retired, but with his mind still being good and remaining active, he might not be completely done in the law field.
The portrait of Justice McHugh will be hung in the “ceremonial” courtroom joining the many other portraits of past justices on the courtroom walls.