By Kristin Bednarski
Clermont County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Stephanie Wyler will be retiring at the end of December, after nearly 22 years at the court.
Wyler said she decided to retire because of the changes in the retirement system for judges.
“The changes in the retirement system are too significant to ignore,” Wyler said. “It would be financially irresponsible not to retire.”
Wyler said she has enjoyed her time as a judge at the court and has had many rewarding cases.
“It’s really nice to see that we can make a difference with families,” Wyler said.
She said there have been countless times where she has been out in the community and someone will come up and thank her for what the court did for them and their family.
“There is not a better reward than that,” Wyler said.
Wyler said the single most enjoyable thing about working at juvenile court, however, was working with her staff.
She said she has developed close relationships with her staff members who helped her do her job, which included being her own clerk and running the probation and detention aspects of the court.
“There is a little bit of misery loves company,” Wyler said. “We see a lot of bad news up here and we are able to get through it together.”
Wyler said when she retires she is looking forward to spending more time at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College, where she is an adjunct professor for the criminal justice program.
She said she is also looking forward to writing in her free time.
“I’ve been trying to write a novel, and I’m going to finish it,” Wyler said.
Wyler will not be leaving the court immediately. She said she has already been appointed to serve as the retired assigned judge until Governor John Kasich appoints a judge to the court.
“The court will continue to operate without interruption,” Wyler said.
Wyler said it could be several months until someone is appointed as judge, because Kasich will have to appoint around 50 judges in the state of Ohio.
She said the Clermont County Republican Party will recommend three candidates for juvenile and probate court judge to Kasich.
Wyler said her advice to the next juvenile court judge is to come into the job with a compassion and empathy that is different from other judicial positions.
“You are not just looking at the child, but at the family and environment of that child,” Wyler said. “If you get used to what you’re seeing you need to leave.”