Former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals John Martin was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Pat McCrory Tuesday. Martin stepped down from the role of Chief Judge Thursday after more than 10 years.
Martin, who is from Durham, received the award in front of family and friends, as well as members of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
McCrory said Martin’s time in the Court of Appeals was one for the record books and urged anyone who considered pursuing a career in law or government to use him as a role model. Martin served on the appellate court for 24 years.
“It wasn’t the length of time you spent here but the integrity that you showed,” McCrory said to Martin during the ceremony. “We need more public service like yours in the future.”
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Martin resigned last week, more than a year shy of the 72-year-old cutoff for state judges. When asked about it after the ceremony, he said he felt that he did what he set out to do, and it was just time.
Martin said his biggest accomplishment was the renovation of the Court of Appeals Building.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the governor. It is given to individuals who have a record of providing service to the state.