I was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore by the Oregon Supreme Court in December 2018 and began working in that capacity for the Lincoln County Circuit Court on January 2, 2019. I remain in this role. Lincoln County suffered a great loss with the medical leave and medical retirement of Judge Paulette Sanders, who, in addition to her many other responsibilities, was our juvenile dependency and delinquency judge.
When Judge Sanders began to take medical leave in early 2019, I stepped up to handle her docket despite this involving more responsibilities than are typically required of a pro tem judge. I did this because I recognized that Lincoln County needed a judge with knowledge of both criminal and juvenile law to provide consistency to these cases. I have been dedicated to making sure the courts run as smoothly as possible in her absence, but also to improving the courts in every way that I can in the process. In the fall of 2019, I spearheaded the effort to bring a mental health court back to Lincoln County and coordinated with community partners to make this happen. With the help and support of community partners we began Mental Health Court officially on February 4, 2020.
When Judge Sanders retired in September 2019, I made clear my desire to remain in this role and filed for election to her seat with the full support of Presiding Judge Thomas Branford, Judge Sheryl Bachart and Judge Sanders. Unfortunately, Governor Brown appointed someone else to this position. While I respect the office of the Governor, I do not believe that the Governors' decision reflected what is best for Lincoln County. I am fortunate to have the continued support of those who I have worked closest with on and off the bench including Judge Branford, Judge Bachart, Judge Sanders, staff, community partners, attorneys and members of our community.
While I will continue to serve Lincoln County as a Judge Pro Tempore, I currently serve as an employee of the Oregon Judicial Department rather than as an independent elected official responsible to the voters. My current position is also a limited duration position that is subject to available funding each year. Being elected as a Circuit Court Judge will ensure my ability to provide long-term dedicated service to Lincoln County.
It has been a great honor to have served on the Lincoln County bench for over a year now and to have had the opportunity to show the voters of Lincoln County exactly what they will see in me as an elected Circuit Court Judge. I encourage anyone interested in my candidacy to speak to individuals that work with the courts about me and my time on the bench. Lincoln County deserves to have the best candidate in this seat and I would not be asking for your support if I was not that candidate.