By Nick Brown
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York bankruptcy judge overseeing part of the fallout from General Motors Co's problems with faulty ignition switches will retire from the bench, but remain active in so-called recall status for at least a year, his court announced.
Judge Robert Gerber will assume recall status on Jan. 1, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York announced in a statement published late on Friday. Recall status allows judges who are technically retired to continue to serve.
Reuters reported earlier this month that Gerber was planning to assume recall status.
Gerber will remain on the bench at least through 2015, according to the court's announcement. The move will therefore have little immediate impact on the GM case. It will, however, allow the court to hire a new judge to fill Gerber's slot, marking the third new judgeship in less than a year in the nation's second-busiest bankruptcy court.
Veteran judges Allan Gropper and James Peck retired earlier this year, and court administrators are in the process of naming replacements.
Gerber "handled some of the most important insolvency cases that influenced the economic health of the nation," the court's chief judge, Cecelia Morris, said in a statement. "His meticulously reasoned, in-depth opinions will continue to guide bench and bar.”
(Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Alan Crosby)