Smithville justice resigns, leaves township without a court official

SMITHVILLE – The Town of Smithville justice seat is empty for the time being after former Justice Benjamin Kehl tendered his resignation Oct. 1 to pursue a career outside the area.

Kehl, an employee of a gas and oil distributor, foresaw the chance of personal opportunities outside the area months ago, explained Supervisor Fred Heisler, but had agreed to work for the township as along as possible. He had served as town justice for only nine months after winning the position in the general election last November.

“It wasn’t a sudden surprise to us. He was keeping us aware that it was going to happen,” Heisler said. “I would have loved it if he had gone on to the end of the year, but he did what I had asked him to do ... It just got to be too much for him.”

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