SANTA FE, N.M. — Second Judicial District Chief Judge Ted C. Baca told colleagues on the bench Thursday that he will retire from the judiciary at the end of June.
Baca has been a judge since 1998, when he ran in a general election against Republican Paul Barber, and has been chief judge since July 2009.
“I just think it’s time to try to enjoy other activities – legal or not,” he said. Quickly realizing that the statement might be taken either way, he laughed and added, “Not illegal activities.”
His retirement, like others before him, is almost certain to bring rearrangements in the court as judges transfer to other divisions of the court.
Judge Reed Sheppard of the juvenile court division also recently announced his retirement plans. Baca was presiding judge in the civil division before becoming chief, during which he has faced some tough times as the judiciary took budget hits that required furloughs and other painful choices to avoid layoffs.
In evaluations conducted by the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Baca has received positive ratings for courtesy, control over proceedings, prompt scheduling and fairness.
Survey results found he is knowledgeable in substantive areas of law and brings enthusiasm to his post.
He was in private practice for 22 years before becoming a judge. He has served on the county Labor Relations Board, as a child support hearing officer, county attorney, legislative analyst and settlement facilitator.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Mexico and his law degree from the UNM School of Law.