Great Falls District Court judge Greg Pinski announced on Monday that he will submit his letter of resignation to the Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday.
His resignation will be effective October 2nd. He was elected to serve as District Court judge in 2012 and again in 2018. “Their confidence in me twice is something that I'm very grateful for, that I’m very appreciative of,” said Pinski.
In a time where racial injustice is in the spotlight following the death of George Floyd, Pinski says he’s proud of the ways he’s fought for equality in Montana. “I’ve been able to do things to provide racial equality to Native Americans in the justice system,” he said. “and address some of those disparities that exist.”
He told MTN News he’s also thankful to the 163 families who have allowed him to be part of adoption ceremonies over the years. “For me to be able to watch them provide forever homes to those kids is the highlight of my career not as a judge but as a person,” he said.
Pinski believes one of his biggest accomplishments is the creation of the Veterans Treatment Court. “So proud of the 157 vets that have come through that program and really transformed their lives from hopeless to hopeful,” he said.
Pinksi said he’s been able to help officials in 26 states establish programs of their own based on the Veterans Treatment Court.
And his fight for justice isn’t over; Pinski plans to open a Veterans law clinic to provide free legal services to veterans who need it. "There are so many veterans that are facing issues that have become barriers for them in reintegrating into the community,” he said. “In this new role, I’ll really be an advocate for those needs."
Pinski’s last day on the bench is October 2nd; Judge Kutzman will assume responsibilities related to the veterans and drug treatment courts.
In a letter to Chief Justice Mike McGrath, Pinski highlighted his efforts in establishing a veteran's treatment court and continuing the success of the drug treatment court.
Pinski said in the letter:
- I will continue my work with veterans treatment courts around the country by starting a research, training, and evaluation business to help improve those courts. I will also implement a veterans law clinic in Cascade County to assist with the unique legal issues veterans face. I am enthusiastic about practicing law with the law firm of Conner, Marr & Pinski, where I will help individuals, veterans, and small businesses overcome legal challenges they face and to help others mediate disputes without court involvement.
He concluded: "Thank you to the Cascade County citizens for their trust and confidence over the past nearly eight years. I have a deep appreciation for this community my family has called home since the early 1900s, and I am thankful every day for the opportunities it provides."
We will update you as we get more details.
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Pinski garnered national attention last year when he sentenced two men after they falsely claimed veteran status: