Valley County’s new justice of the peace, James Wixson, was appointed by the county commissioners last Wednesday and sworn into office Monday by Clerk and Recorder Lynne Nyquist.
He came to Glasgow with the FBI in 1981 and was involved in investigating major crimes on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap reservations. He retired here in 1997 after a long career as an agent.
Wixson was chosen from among 10 applicants for the position. Valley County Commissioner Dave Pippin said Wixson had experienced everything and been involved in a lot of courtroom situations during his career.
Since his retirement, he has operated a small ranch west of Glasgow where he said he “raises a few cows and puts up a little hay.”
When the office of the justice of the peace became available, he said he thought he would like to try it. Wixson noted there have been a lot of changes in law enforcement since he retired from the FBI. There are new procedures and it is more technical, with computers and cameras in use everywhere.
When asked if he came to the office with a philosophy, he said, “Treat everybody fairly.”
For now, Wixson will keep the same office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Christine Gamas will stay on as clerk of Justice Court, which has its office and courtroom in the basement of the Valley County Courthouse.
Wixson succeeds Linda Hartsock, who resigned July 31. He will serve the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2014.
Wixson’s family in Glasgow includes his wife, Linda, two sons, Doug and Greg, and a daughter, Tammy.