PORTAGE (WKZO) -- It looks like for the city of Portage, There goes the judge.
The Kalamazoo Courts will be losing a judge permanently at the end of the month when Carol Husum steps down from the bench. The State has decided not to replace her to cut costs.
Chief Judge Paul Bridenstine told Kalamazoo County Commissioners yesterday that it’s no longer financially feasible to maintain a separate court for one judge in Portage and an empty court downtown.
He says since Portage closed its lock-up, it’s become cost prohibitive to shuttle prisoners back and forth from the jail.
IT was believed that the City of Portage had to agree before the court could be shut down, but a new opinion says it’s really up to the Chief Judge.
Administrator Peter Battani says it’s up to them now to settle the financial and other issues, which they hope to do before Judge Husum’s departure, and close the court March 1st.
They expect the move will save the courts $300,000 a year.