- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings says he’s going to resign this fall after 22 years on the bench to start his own law firm and ponder a political career.

Fagg, 56, says his private practice would focus on mediation, or resolving cases before they go to trial.

The former Republican state legislator says he may also consider politics because he’s concerned about the increasing national debt. He expressed interest in running for former U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke’s seat, but decided the timing wasn’t right.

Fagg has handled about 25,000 cases and says he thinks he’s seen “nearly every hurt imaginable.” He says he loves the job, is honored to have served and has always tried to balance accountability with mercy. His last day is Oct. 13.

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