CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Supreme Court of Appeals voted unanimously Monday to make former Circuit Judge Gary Johnson the Administrative Director of West Virginia Courts on a permanent basis.

Johnson was named as interim administrative director on Jan. 4.

“I have enjoyed working with the Justices and Court staff the last two months, and I am honored the Court has decided to make my position permanent. I am thankful for the confidence the Court has placed in me,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson served on the 28th Judicial Circuit for 24 years. Johnson was defeated in the May 2016 election by Stephen Callaghan. He won by 220 votes.

The state Supreme Court suspended Callaghan last month from the bench because of a campaign flyer showing Johnson partying with then-President Barack Obama. Callaghan is suspended from the bench for two years without pay.

Chief Justice Allen Loughry II said in a statement Johnson has been working since January on improving the court’s administration office.

“His work ethic is incredible, and his unique qualifications, including his 24 years as a circuit judge, have been invaluable,” Loughry said.

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