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Bjerke to retire after 16 years as La Crosse County judge



La Crosse County will get a new circuit judge this summer. 

Judge Todd Bjerke has decided to retire in July, two years before his term is over.  Bjerke was one of three current judges in the county elected to the bench in 2007, along with Scott Horne and Elliott Levine, and he served as a La Crosse County prosecutor before that.  

Bjerke tells us that being a judge has been fulfilling.

La Crosse County Judge Todd Bjerke speaks at a local drug forum (WIZM file photo)

“It was…really a good job to have, especially for somebody that tried to work with people my entire career trying to get them to make changes in their life to better themselves, get them out of…drug addiction or improve their mental health,” said the judge.

Official word of Bjerke’s retirement was announced by the governor’s office.  Governor Evers will take applications from candidates who want to serve as judge for a year, with the deadline set for 5 p.m. on May 15th.

Bjerke tells WIZM News he felt this would be a good time to retire, after 39 years in government work. He points out that his wife retired from her job four years ago. “I think we’d like to enjoy ourselves before our bodies don’t work, and I’d like to leave the bench before my mind stops working. Not that it will, but I like going out on a high note,” he remarked.

The newly-appointed judge for Branch 3 will serve for a year, until next July. It is expected that an election for a six-year term will be held next April.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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