Christy signs off as clerk of court

Buncombe County clerk of superior court Robert H. “Bob” Christy Jr., who for the past 18 years has overseen the administrative end of tremendous growth in the court system, has announced his retirement.

“I really do like coming to work every day,” Christy told Xpress in his office at the Buncombe County Courthouse. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Buncombe County.”

Christy has served as clerk of court since Sept. 1, 1990, when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of J. Ray Ellingburg, who launched a run for state senate that year. Christy had been an assistant clerk of court in Ellingburg’s office for seven years at the time of his appointment. Christy ran for clerk’s office and won that November, and has won the seat in the four elections since.

As clerk of court, Christy’s office files and keeps all court records. The office handles all money paid into the county court system — much of it in cash — in the form of fines, forfeitures and civil judgments. And Christy is the judge in probate cases such as wills, estates, foreclosures, trusts and guardianships.

Christy, 54, oversees an office that’s grown from 47 employees in 1990 to 65 employees today. The office handles about $25 million in annual revenue. He said he’s seen criminal and civil court filings more than double since 1990, and the office has moved from typewriters to computers.

Buncombe County’s senior resident Superior Court Judge Dennis J. Winner will choose Christy’s replacement.

Christy’s last day on the job will be Dec. 31. He plans to join the law practice of long-time friend and Asheville attorney Jack Stewart.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor

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