Superior Court Justice Roland Cole has been named chief justice of the Superior Court, the Maine judiciary announced Tuesday.

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court appointed Cole to the position overseeing the operation of Maine’s 17 superior courts – one in each county except Aroostook, which has two. The position was effective June 10, Saufley said in a news release Tuesday.

“We are very fortunate that a judge with his skills and experience is willing to take on the responsibilities of the chief justice of the Superior Court,” Saufley said.

Cole was first appointed to the District Court in 1981 by Gov. Joseph Brennan and was elevated to the Superior Court in 1986. He previously served as chief justice of the Superior Court from 1995 to 1997 at a time when the chief justice duties were rotated more frequently.

Cole will likely scale back his trial load to accommodate his new duties.

Cole replaces outgoing Superior Court Chief Justice Thomas Humphrey, who was recently appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court by Gov. Paul LePage.

Cole will earn $126,000 a year in his new post, a raise of $5,000 over what he earned as an associate justice.

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