Former Chief Judge Leo K. Foran announced his endorsement of the re-election of Chief Judge Richard Wygonik to Dearborn's Monday.
Wygonik is one of three candidates running for a seat on the bench. Fellow candidates include Dearborn attorneys and .
Foran served 34 years as chief judge of the 20th District Court and one year as chief judge of the 19th District Court. During his judicial career, Foran has also served as a visiting judge in both Circuit Court and Recorders Court.
Foran’s endorsement comes after recent statements by opposing political campaigns linking Wygonik to the rocky tenure of former Chief Judge Mark Somers, who is the target of .
Wygonik is not a party to the lawsuits and, in January 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court appointed Wygonik to replace Somers.
“I was a chief judge for well over 30 years and made decisions concerning the administrative operations of two district courts,” Foran said. “Chief Judge Richard Wygonik is doing an excellent job. We need him to continue to guide the court through difficult times.
"I’m proud to endorse his reelection,” Foran added.
Wygonik thanked Foran for the support.
“I’m grateful for the support of former Chief Judge Leo Foran," Wygonik said in a statement. "I’m also proud to have been appointed 19th District chief judge by the Michigan Supreme Court. I will continue to strive for greater efficiency in court operations and to work to protect the rights of those who appear before the courts."
Wygonik has been the target of .
Wygonik has indicated that he will soon release a roadmap for future court reforms.
Wygonik, a lifelong resident of Dearborn, was appointed to the bench in 2005. He was elected for a full term in 2006 and named chief judge in 2011. Wygonik has been a practicing attorney since 1972.