Patrick appointed municipal judge


TORRINGTON – For the second time in six months, Torrington Mayor Randy Adams has appointed a new municipal judge. 

Adams has appointed John Patrick, a retired attorney and rancher, as the new Torrington Municipal Judge. He will replace Nate Hibben, who was recently appointed as the judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court by Governor Mark Gordon. Hibben replaced Judge Randal Arp, who retired this month. 

Adams has appointed John Patrick, a retired attorney and rancher, as the new Torrington Municipal Judge. According to Adams, he has had a long relationship with Patrick and decided to ask him to take the bench for many of the same reasons he chose Hibben. 

“It is the same as with Nate Hibben,” Adams said. “I knew him in the community. I watched him conduct business, I observed how he treated his clients and those things went into my decision.”

Patrick was Adams’ original choice to take over for Greg Knudsen, who was recently disbarred by the Wyoming Supreme Court and banned from practicing law, as municipal judge when he was elected in November. 

“Way back when I became mayor, I knew that I was going to get rid of Greg Knudsen,” Adams said. “John was the first guy that I went to. At that time, last November or so, I visited with John. He and his wife had not figured out what they wanted to do with their retirement plans. His wife had just been elected president of the school board, and he is the president [chairman] of the Eastern Wyoming College board. He runs a small ranch operation, so they just really had not decided how they were going to live the rest of their lives.”

The support is there for Patrick.

“Chairman Patrick is a great community member, giving his time and energy to the college, economic development, DSI, and many other important organizations,” EWC president Dr. Travers said. “His appointment as a (municipal) judge does not surprise me, and Mayor Adams made an exceptional choice.”

Luckily for Adams and the city of Torrington, Patrick decided he wanted to stay involved in the legal world. 

“Since that time, he is decided that he would like to continue in the business,” Adams said. “When I talked to him, we hashed out all the details and he said he would like the job. He was the guy I wanted.”

Adams said he fully supports Hibben in his new position, and Adams said he believe Hibben has an even brighter future ahead of him. 

“When he decided to apply for that position, he came over and we talked about it,” Adams said. “I told him he would be foolish if he didn’t apply. He deserves to be able to move up. He Is not somebody that is going to be sitting around here for very long. He was our municipal judge for six months, he’ll be the circuit court judge for a few years, and as soon as a position on the Supreme Court opens up, I guarantee you he will be the leading candidate for that, too.”

Hibben and Patrick share some important qualities, Adams said. They both make it a point to treat people with respect from the bench, while still being fair. 

“He is a sharp guy,” Adams said of Hibben. “He knows what he is doing, and he handles the court the way it should be handled. He is fair. He treats the people who come before him with respect. He is firm, but at the same time he is also compassionate. He treats those people that have made mistakes like human beings, and that’s the way I want the court to continue. I know John will do the same thing.”

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