Oct. 26, 2010 — Everyday for months Managing Editor Barbara France has looked through countless e-mails waiting to see if outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had selected Judge Stephen Bradbury’s successor on Lassen County’s Superior Court bench. Bradbury retired in January leaving the bench open only to be filled by government appointment.
France and the rest of the news staff knew several local attorneys were being discussed by a judicial review board in Sacramento to Bradbury’s place, but they were also aware that the governor, who was termed out of office, could easily appoint one of his staffers to the bench. For several months Schwarzenegger was meticulously signing legislations and making numerous appointments to judgeships, fair boards and other open seats, but Lassen County’s name popped up on the 10-12 e-mails received daily by the paper.
Ironically, the word did not reach the newsroom by e-mail first but by a call from the Lassen County Courthouse announcing Michelle Verderosa was the governor’s pick. E-mail from the Office of the Governor did follow.
Verderosa will be the second woman to wear the black robes in the Lassen County Superior Court chambers. The first was Gladys Spencer Burroughs in 1936.
The paper concurs with the governor’s choice and welcomes Verderosa to the bench. In the years she has served as a prosecutor and then a defense attorney the overwhelming comments about Verderosa have been that she is fair, smart and articulate. She knows family law, which is one of the main duties of the Superior Court judge.
Verderosa will serve out the term vacated by Bradbury’s retirement and then will have to face the voters in 2012 to see if they also concur with Schwarzenegger’s decision. The next two years will give all of us plenty of time to assess her job on the bench before deciding if she should continue to preside in Department 1.
The paper has confidence Verderosa who will be sworn in December will represent her new profession well and make Lassen County proud.
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