Veteran Antigo attorney John Rhode is going back to school — but this time, the word judge precedes his name.
Concluding his 20-year career with the Sommer, Olk & Payant law firm just last week, Rhode was formally sworn into office on Monday during a brief ceremony in Eagle River by Vilas County Judge Neal A. Nielsen III, chief judge of the state’s Ninth Judicial District — an area which covers all or part of 12 counties including Langlade.
A day later, Rhode was settling into his new quarters on the third floor of the Langlade County Courthouse, a spot formerly occupied by now Reserve Judge Fred Kawalski. Kawalski retired from the position in November, triggering a spring election, a Rhode victory and a subsequent early appointment to the judicial position by Gov. Scott Walker.