HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A retired South Mississippi judge will be returning to the bench. State Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr., appointed retired Harrison County Judge Michael Ward to take the place of Second Circuit Court Judge John Gargiulo. Gargiulo resigned from the circuit court bench on Friday to accept an appointment as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Ward's appointment is effective Aug. 4, and will continue until judicial elections are held on Nov. 4. He has 32 years of experience on the Harrison County bench.
"Judge Mike Ward has a long and distinguished career as a County Court judge in Harrison County. The Circuit Court will have, on an interim basis, an experienced trial judge who has the confidence of the public, the lawyers in the district and the other judges. This will be very efficient and will promote a smooth transition for the next newly elected circuit judge for this position," said Waller.
Federal magistrates are selected and appointed by federal district judges.
Waller said Ward has continued to serve as a senior status judge since his retirement from the Harrison County bench in December of 2010.