NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County's Chief District Court Judge is being replaced. Effective Thursday Judge John Carroll will be replaced by Judge J.H. Corpening. The news came as a shock to Carroll, who says he's proud of his accomplishments as chief judge over the past six years. He wasn't told why he is being replaced. The news was handed down Tuesday by Chief Justice Sarah Parker, who presides over district court judges across the state. Carroll said, "I asked the chief justice if she'd give me an opportunity to come speak to her in person and give me an audience, and she said she had already made her decision." Judge Carroll says he will continue to serve as district court judge for New Hanover and Pender Counties. He also wishes his successor good luck. "As a Republican, in this political climate, and the Chief Justice being a Democrat and Chief Corpening being a Democrat, and I'm a Republican, it's a logical choice that she would pick a Democrat," Carroll said. In addition to the demotion, Carroll will take a $2,400 annual pay cut. That money will now go to his successor Judge Corpening.