- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A District Court judge will become the top administrator of North Carolina’s courts system temporarily while a search committee finds a permanent replacement for retiring courts Director John W. Smith.

Chief Justice Mark Martin announced Friday that Marion Warren of Brunswick County will be the interim director of the Administrative Office of the Courts when Smith retires May 1.

Warren has been a judge serving Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties since 2000. He has also been an assistant prosecutor. He ran unsuccessfully for the state Court of Appeals last November.

A state courts spokeswoman says Warren would return to the bench when the temporary assignment is over.

Smith has served as director since 2009 and announced his departure this week.

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