MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia Circuit Judge Russell Clawges plans to retire from the bench.

West Virginia Judiciary

Monongalia Circuit Judge Russell Clawges

Clawges announced his retirement Friday, as well as a request to the state Supreme Court to make him a senior status judge. Such designation will allow him to stay on the bench until Gov. Jim Justice appoints Clawges’ replacement.

“It’s just time. I’ve got 22 years in. I am way past 65. It’s time to do something else,” the judge said.

Clawges, a Morgantown native, will turn 69 on Jan. 30.

Then-Gov. Gaston Caperton appointed Clawges  to the bench after the 1996 election when Larry Starcher was elected to the state Supreme Court, and Clawges won elections in 2000, 2008 and 2016.