After making a difference, MN judge is forced to retire

Here’s your daily moment of sweetness.

Judge Larry Collins gives Ashly Sylvester, Steele Waseca Drug Court's first graduate, a big hug Jan. 19. Sylvester returned to help congratulate the retiring Collins. (Suzanne Rook/Waseca County News)

Judge Larry Collins is retiring with the luxury of knowing he did some good. He knows that because the people who went through his court told him so.

Ten participants in the Steele Waseca Drug Court last week individually told him of their success since stepping into his court, Waseca County News reports.

Collins served 27 years as the county’s attorney before being appointed to the bench in 2005. But he turned 70 earlier this month and Minnesota law requires that judges retire at 70.

There are worse ways to leave a job than having Ashly Sylvester tell you about the difference you made in her life.

“Thank you for giving me a second chance to be a role model for my siblings,” said Sylvester. “Thank you for leading me back to who I once was.”

Sylvester was the drug court’s first graduate.

“I am a better person because I learned from all of you,” Collins told his court. “I am richer for it.”

(h/t: Suzanne Rook)

From the archive: Graduation Day (NewsCut)