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Mehling to Retire as Kenton Family Court Judge

Kenton Family Court Judge Christopher Mehling announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of his current term, which expires December 31, 2022.

By that time, Mehling will have served 16 years on that bench, and turned 70 years old, he said.

"My wife Pat and I are ready to go onto the next phase of our lives," Mehling said in the announcement. "I am making this announcement now so that all attorneys who practice family law and live in Kenton County can give thought to whether they would be interested in serving."

The Mehlings have six grandchildren who live near them and "we wish to spend more time with them and attend their activities," Judge Mehling said. "Prior to my election, Pat and I were involved in several community nonprofits and we wish to return to that work. We also want to spend more time with our church family, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and to travel more."

Mehling said that he has loved serving on the family court, in the county's second division, and will miss doing the work.

"I have given it my all. Others can say how well I did, but I always tried my hardest to be fair and do the right thing within the law. My enthusiasm for the work is as great as my first day as a judge," Mehling said. "It has been a roller coaster 15 years. I started with a personal health crisis, followed by the country having an economic collapse followed by multiple waives of substance abuse crises from opioids to heroin to fentanyl to meth and culminating with the pandemic. I intend to make myself available to the Chief Justice to do senior judge work if the Chief needs me to fill in on family court matters throughout the Commonwealth."

Mehling said that he will not be returning to the private practice of law.

He was elected judge in 2006 and again in 2014.

"I want to thank all the members of the bar who have been so kind and courteous to me. I want to thank all the social workers, law enforcement officers, bailiffs, school district personnel, CASA volunteers, treatment providers, deputy clerks and others who I have worked with over the years," he said. "I want to thank all those who worked on my staff during my service. I want to thank the citizens of Kenton County who gave me the opportunity to serve. I have just over one year left in my term and I intend to continue just as I have until the last day.

"This is important and rewarding work for our community. I hope my successor will enjoy serving as a family court judge as much as I have."

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Judge Christopher Mehling (provided)