DENVER, Colorado - Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey said Wednesday she has appointed District Judge R. Thomas Moorhead as the new chief judge for the Fifth Judicial District, which consists of Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties.
He replaces retiring Judge W. Terry Ruckriegle, who was appointed to the bench in 1984 and has served as chief judge since 1994. The appointment becomes effective Sept. 1.
"Chief Judge Ruckriegle's service to the people of the Fifth Judicial District and to the state of Colorado has been remarkable and he will be missed," Chief Justice Mullarkey said. "I am confident Judge Moorhead's knowledge, experience and demeanor will serve him well as a strong and effective leader for the district."
Judge Moorhead was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court bench in August 2002 after serving as town attorney for the town of Vail from 1993 to 2001, and as county attorney for Eagle County from 2001 until his appointment to the bench. Before that, he was in private practice. He received his law degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 1975.
Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts, each with a chief judge. As chief judge, Moorhead will serve as the administrative head of the Fifth Judicial District. He will be responsible for appointing the district administrator, chief probation officer and clerks of the court, to assist in the personnel, financial and case management duties of the district along with seeing that the business of the courts is conducted efficiently and effectively. Other responsibilities include judicial assignments within the district.