Back on the bench

Gary Miller again dons black robe, filling in as Yukon's interim municipal judge

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Longtime attorney and judge Gary Miller, seated here next to Yukon Court Clerk administrator Mandy Zahorodny, has donned his black robe (again) as the City of Yukon’s interim municipal judge. Miller thanked the City of Yukon municipal court staff and police for their help in his “new” temporary role. Miller spent 23 years as a Canadian County District Court judge and, most recently, four years as Yukon’s city attorney. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A familiar face is “back on the bench.”

Gary Miller, a longtime Yukon attorney and Canadian County judge, presided Oct. 12th at Yukon municipal court inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th.

Miller is again donning his black robe – at least temporarily – as the City of Yukon’s interim municipal judge.

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar named Miller to fill the interim post as she searches for a successor to longtime municipal judge George Ramey.

Miller said he’s happy to help after Yukon’s municipal court docket had to be continued.

“I’m just filling in … hearing cases until a new municipal judge is appointed,” he said. “It’s like riding a bicycle. You really don’t ever forget, although it may be a little different procedure.

“The city staff is wonderful to work with. They are very knowledgeable and very experienced. And that makes all the difference in the world.”

The vacancy was created when Ramey recently stepped down after 47 years as Yukon municipal judge. He was no longer eligible to serve because he had moved outside Yukon city limits.

Yukon city ordinance requires the municipal judge to be a Yukon resident.

Judge Gary Miller conducts a municipal court hearing by videoconference on Oct. 12 inside the City of Yukon Centennial Building, 12 S 5th. Miller, a retired Canadian County judge, has been named Yukon’s interim municipal judge until a new municipal judge is appointed to succeed George Ramey. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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23 YEARS AS JUDGE

Miller spent 23 years as a Canadian County District Court judge. He was associate district judge from 1993 to 2008 and then district judge from 2010 to 2016 before retiring as a member of the judiciary.

Miller then served as Yukon city attorney from January 2017 through December 2020, resigning due to family health issues. Miller had been city attorney in 1993 before joining the Canadian County bench.

Hearings at Yukon municipal court are the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. The cases are somewhat different than what Miller was accustomed to in Canadian County District Court.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s traffic violations, more than anything else. Then there are warrants, where somebody failed to appear when they were supposed to or didn’t pay fines.

“The clients have been very friendly. I haven’t had any problem with them.”

As interim municipal judge, Miller also has had to set bonds for inmates at the Yukon City Hall.

Kretchmar will select a new municipal judge after interviewing candidates. The Yukon City Council has the final say and must approve the contract.