In June, Aldrich applied to Gov. Pawlenty for disability retirement. In his letter to the governor, Aldrich explained that severe deafness in both of his ears has progressed to the point that he is “no longer … able, consistently, to run the smooth courtroom that the public deserves.”
The judge stated that he is “both humbled and proud to have been given the chance to serve as a Minnesota Judge. The satisfactions derived from seeing family conflict lessened, drinking drivers rehabilitated, and fair trials for all are irreplaceable.”
Most recently Aldrich was in the news over his acceptance of a public reprimand from the Board on Judicial Standards in connection with comments he made during a criminal proceeding late last year, including referring to witnesses in the case as “a bunch of drunkards” and “incompetent” due to their alleged intoxication. The complaint was initially filed by WATCH, which observes judges’ demeanor during court proceedings.
Aldrich was first elected to the bench in 1996.