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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | Countywide

State's Chief Justice to Swear in 2 Jurists

January 13, 1998|HILARY E. MacGREGOR

Ronald George, chief justice of the California Supreme Court, will be in Ventura on Friday to swear in Judges Charles Campbell Jr. and Bruce Clark as the new presiding and assistant presiding judges of Ventura County.

The unusual visit recognizes the county's leading role in carrying out state-mandated consolidation of Superior and Municipal courts, officials said.

In years past the Superior and Municipal courts had separate presiding and assistant presiding judges, but Campbell and Clark will oversee both courts.

"The election of a single presiding and assistant presiding judge is a historical event and one that merits celebration," said Sheila Gonzalez, executive officer of the Superior and Municipal courts. The two were selected for the assignments by their fellow judges.

The Ventura courts were the first in the state to consolidate their administrations under a single executive officer, Campbell said in a statement.

"The judges of both courts made this decision long before anyone thought of requiring it," Campbell said. "We consolidated our administrations in 1989 and were seen as a model for the state."

After observing the cost savings in Ventura courts, the Legislature decided to require consolidation of every court in the state, Campbell said.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Friday in Courtroom 22. State Court Administrator William Vickrey and judges from the Court of Appeals, as well as other local and state elected officials, will also attend.

"Ventura was the first to start the whole ball rolling, and has now added the final part of the puzzle," said Vince Ordonez Jr., assistant executive officer of the Ventura courts. "The chief justice thought it was important to come down personally to swear in the judges."

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