Tributes abound as retirement ceremony held for Judge Sukola

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A retirement ceremony was held Wednesday morning at the District Court of Guam for Judge Anita Sukola. The ceremony recognized her career as the longest-serving federal designated judge. (PNC photo by Isaiah Aguon)

After decades of service, Judge Anita Sukola is retiring.

A retirement ceremony was held Wednesday morning at the District Court of Guam for Sukola. The ceremony recognized her career as the longest-serving federal designated judge.

Sukola received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington State University in 1973, then a decade later she received her Juris Doctorate from the People’s College of Law in 1983.

For nearly 11 years, Judge Sukola had a private law practice and served as a full-time Assistant Professor at the University of Guam.

Sukola was then appointed Judge of the Superior Court of Guam in 2002.

She recently presided over Juvenile Drug Court and General Jurisdiction cases.

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At the ceremony, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Bordallo, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio and other public servants congratulated Judge Sukola on her retirement from the court.

Gov. Leon Guerrero also delivered remarks. She started off by saying, she is grateful to honor and celebrate Judge Anita Sukola’s retirement.

Leon Guerrero said that she had a personal encounter on a 2-hour flight with Judge Sukola years ago and viewed her as a very tough, judicious, and firm woman.

“What I learned from that 2 hour flight, was her heart, her love for our people, island and culture. Her strong belief and advocate in women’s rights. We talked in detail about what we thought we needed to do to reach a level of social justice, equality rights and fairness for everyone on our island. We also talked about other things that is not appropriate to say right here but those were also the fun conversations,” Leon Guerrero said.

The governor added that she was very sad because we are losing a very smart, passionate person but one who is also firm with the law and compassionate with justice and mercy.

She thanked Sukola for serving the island community.

“So thank you again for all the community and public services that you have done. And thank you so much for your heart,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, Judge Sukola says it has been an honor to serve as a judge.

She said that she will always be a public servant and will be here for the people of Guam

“And I do thank the people of Guam for giving me the opportunity to go to school including the public school education and thanks to the folks who give us the best education possible. So to the people of Guam, thank you,” the judge said.

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