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Governor appoints five new Alameda County judges

Among series of East Bay appointments Brown made in lame-duck final month

During his last weeks as governor, Jerry Brown made dozens of appointments to various positions across the state, including selecting five new Alameda County Superior Court judges.

Heading into their first judicial appointments, the new judges have a diverse range of legal, service and personal backgrounds -- and each is a registered Democrat.

Each succeeding either a retired or promoted judge, the five judges range in age from 45 to 55 years old, only two currently live in Alameda County (both in Oakland) though others have county ties, and one represents an ethnic milestone for the bench as Eumi K. Lee became the first Korean-American appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court.

The annual salary for each new judge is $207,424, plus unspecified employment benefits. Their specific judicial assignments within the court have not yet been announced.

Lee, 46, of San Francisco has worked as a clinical professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco since 2005, where she also served as co-founder and co-director of the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice. She worked as an ethics trainer for Southern California utility companies and as a consultant during part of that time as well.

In addition to time as an associate attorney, Lee clerked for judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit and U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University after completing a bachelor's degree at Pomona College.

Lee filled the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Alison M. Tucher to the state Court of Appeal.

Also succeeding an Alameda County judge elevated to the state Court of Appeal (Judge Ioana Petrou) is new Judge Karin S. Schwartz.

A 54-year-old from Sacramento, Schwartz has served as deputy director and chief counsel at the California Department of Public Health since 2013.

She previously worked in several prosecutorial positions at the California Attorney General's Office from 2003 to 2013, including as supervising deputy attorney general and acting senior assistant attorney general. That came before nearly a decade in private practice at two firms.

A former clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Schwartz earned her law degree from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College.

Moraga resident Clifford T. Blakely Jr., a former public defender in Alameda County, was also appointed to the bench.

Blakely, 48, completed two stints as a deputy public defender in the Alameda County Public Defender's Office (1996 to 2007 and 2014-18), with a seven-year run as a sole practitioner in between.

He earned a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gloria F. Rhynes.

New Judge Colin T. Bowen, 55, of Oakland, had served as supervising deputy city attorney at the Oakland City Attorney's Office since 2015.

Bowen was interim board counsel at the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board from 2014-15 and a sole practitioner from 2013-15, after working as a partner at Clay and Bowen LLP (2007-13) and a deputy public defender in Alameda County (1994 to 2007) and an associate at two other firms (1990-94).

He earned his law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law after completing his undergraduate degree at UCLA. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roy Hashimoto.

The final new judge is Patrick R. McKinney II, 45, of Oakland, who most recently worked as assistant secretary for legal affairs and chief counsel at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and before that worked as a prosecutor for the state Attorney General's Office.

Earlier in his career, McKinney was special counsel for litigation at Farella, Braun and Martel LLP from 2009-11, after he was an associate there from 2001-09. He earned a Juris Doctor from the UC Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor's degree from UCLA. He filled the vacancy created when Judge Jeffrey W. Horner retired.

Other appointments

Brown also named other Tri-Valley and East Bay residents to judicial or state positions during his final weeks before his term expired on Monday with the swearing-in of new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Those lame-duck appointments included:

* Wendy McGuire Coats, 44, of Alamo to a judgeship in the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

* John P. Devine, 53, of Walnut Creek also to a judgeship in the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

* San Ramon resident Vincent Reyes to the State Bar of California Examining Committee.

* Dr. Carolyn McAloon, of San Ramon, to the California Board of Podiatric Medicine.

* Fremont resident George Famalett reappointed to the California Board of Accountancy, where he has served since 2015.

* Alameda County Fire Department Capt. Sean Burrows, who lives in Lodi, to the Commission on Emergency Medical Services.

* Khatera Aslami Tamplen, of Pleasant Hill, reappointed to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, where she has served since 2013.

* Three Berkeley residents earned appointments: Art Pulaski to the State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors, Christine Baker to the Fraud Assessment Commission and Steven Winkel (reappointment) to the California Building Standards Commission.

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Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by Question
a resident of another community
on Jan 9, 2019 at 11:50 am

Do they need state congress or public hearings? The Governer has way too much power. Will be worse with the Getty dynasty.


5 people like this
Posted by Nicki
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jan 9, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Nicki is a registered user.

The article says that the five new Alameda County Superior Court judges are all DEMOCRATS .Are ALL of these appointees, including the Tri-Valley and East Bay appointees, also DEMOCRATS? No Republicans?


7 people like this
Posted by Nicki
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jan 9, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Nicki is a registered user.

Just did a little google searching, and yes, all of the other appointees are Democrats with the exception of Devine, who doesn't state party.

How is that for an impartial Jerry Brown!! HA


6 people like this
Posted by Impartial
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Jerry is so much like Trump. Take Jerry any day!


4 people like this
Posted by idrownkittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 3:29 am

Rather than focusing on their political affiliation, perhaps people should look at their qualifications? From the article, they all seem more or less eminently qualified. A lot of UC Berkeley Law graduates with significant legal backgrounds. I'll take that over the clowns being appointed to the federal bench who have never tried a case and have no idea what a motion in limine is.


2 people like this
Posted by Sue Thayer
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 13, 2019 at 8:50 am

Good Repubs are in very short supply around here.


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 13, 2019 at 9:47 pm

Sue,
Unfortunately a good one (baker) was voted out of office


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