Circuit Judge William Edwards underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a hernia. Later in the day, the judge said he would return to work part time soon, but didn't expect to be back on the bench full time for at least five weeks.
Edwards said his condition was diagnosed about two weeks ago. Doctors performed surgery Tuesday morning on an outpatient basis in Gainesville; Edwards was home recovering shortly after noon.
Edwards, who is scheduled to retire Aug. 31., said he cleared his calendar for the next month or so because he knew he would be out of the office.
However, he said he hopes to be working part time in two weeks handling pretrial conferences and status hearings.
"As soon as he (the doctor) lets me go back in and work part time, I will," the judge said from home Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the local Judicial Nominating Commission is considering candidates to replace Edwards. The commission is scheduled to interview seven candidates Monday and soon will recommend three candidates to Gov. Lawton Chiles, who will appoint a successor.
Edwards has been a circuit judge in Citrus County since 1977 and was administrative judge until he recently relinquished that role to colleague Circuit Judge John Thurman.
Thurman has had health problems of his own. Last year, he underwent surgery to treat an aneurysm, while earlier this year he was receiving dialysis treatment for a congenital kidney problem. Thurman still receives dialysis treatment.