Hennepin County Chief Judge Ivy Bernhardson announced Tuesday that she will retire in June after serving 13 years on the bench.
Bernhardson was appointed to the bench in May 2007 and was elected in 2008 and 2014. Her term was set to expire next year.
“It has been my high honor and great privilege to serve the people of Minnesota as a district court judge,” Bernhardson said in a written statement. “My amazing colleagues on the Hennepin County bench and our wonderful court staff will continue to carry out the mission of the Court.”
Bernhardson is serving her second consecutive two-year term as chief judge. Her retirement on June 30 coincides with the end of her second term.
She has also previously served as assistant chief judge.
Bernhardson was elected chief judge the first time in 2016 amid heightened tensions around officer-involved shootings, including the 2015 killing of Jamar Clark by two Minneapolis officers, who were not charged.
In December 2016, Bernhardson issued an order mandating that prosecutors and defense attorneys follow state law and refrain from sharing body-camera footage with the public before criminal trials.
In 2017, she presided over a bitter family dispute in civil court over one sibling’s desire to cash out of her million-dollar stake in Lunds Inc., owner of the Lunds & Byerlys.
Bernhardson began her legal career as a staff attorney at General Mills in 1978 and later became vice president. She has also served as vice president and general counsel for Medica Health Plans and vice president and chief legal officer for the Hazelden Foundation, among other work experience.
Bernhardson earned her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1973 and her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978.