Drop-in planned for departing magistrate

Robinson

BLYTHEWOOD – Prior to the May 28 town council meeting, Mayor J. Michael Ross and council members will host a reception honoring Blythewood’s Magistrate, Judge Josef Robinson, and his staff.

Robinson, who was serving his second term after being appointed to the bench by Sen. Joel Lourie in 2014, said he was notified by Sen. Mia McLeod last month that he would not be reappointed. After Lourie did not seek re-election in 2016, McLeod was elected in 2016 as his successor.

A popular magistrate with both the community and the town government during his tenure in Blythewood, Robinson made himself available for town government functions such as swearing in ceremonies, as well as riding in the town’s Christmas parade and attending other community events as well.

“We are going to truly miss Judge Robinson,” Ross said. “We couldn’t have had a better judge to serve as Blythewood’s first magistrate. He did a great job in the Courtroom here and I think most everyone regarded him as fair and compassionate.

“I was disappointed that we were not contacted that the Judge was not going to be reappointed,” Ross said.

“It would have been a nice courtesy to have been notified about something like this that effects our community,” Ross said. “Judge Robinson is a fine example of a public servant and our community will miss him,” Ross said.

A 14-year veteran of the S.C. Highway Patrol before being appointed Blythewood’s magistrate, Robinson said he felt being a state trooper turned out to benefit his role as a judge.

“It prepared me for the criminal and civil sides of my job, learning traffic laws, making traffic stops and dealing with attitudes all over the place,” Robinson said. “When Sen. Lourie appointed me he stressed that a judge needs to be fair and impartial. I lived by those tenets. I tried to give everyone their time and hear them out till their case was done. I tried to listen to what people had to say and not rush to a decision. A lot of people would come to court feeling they didn’t have a chance. But I think most people who came before me felt I was fair – even some of those who I ruled against,” Robinson said.

“I loved the job and I loved serving the people in this community,” he said.

Robinson said he now plans to return to law enforcement, serving as a public information officer under Sheriff Leon Lott.

The public is invited to the reception for Judge Robinson and his staff at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 28, at the Doko Manor in Blythewood.