Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, September 9, 2005


Page 3


Schwarzenegger Appoints Three to Superior Court Judgeships


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday filled three judicial vacancies in the northern part of the state.

The governor appointed Ukiah litigator John A. Behnke to the Mendocino Superior Court, Kings Superior Court Commissioner James LaPorte as a judge of that court, and Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Julia L. Scrogin as a Yuba Superior Court judge.

Behnke, 55, has practiced civil and criminal law in Mendocino County since 1977. He heads the firm of Carter, Behnke, Oglesby and Bacik, where he has practiced since 1983.

 Behnke was previously a partner for two years in the firm of Gaustad & Behnke, prior to which he was a Mendocino County deputy district attorney. He is a graduate of Lawrence University and McGeorge School of Law, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

 He succeeds retired Judge Henry K. Nelson.

 LaPorte, 54, has been a commissioner since 1993, presiding over criminal and civil jury trials, family law trials and juvenile delinquency and dependency contested hearings. Previously, he spent 12 years in the Kings County Counsel’s Office, after working for Kings/Tulare County Legal Counsel, where he became managing attorney.

 He earned his law degree from the University of Santa Clara and bachelor’s degree from UC-Berkeley. He succeeds the late Judge Charles G. Johnson.

Scrogin, 42, joined the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office in 1992 after having served as a deputy district attorney in Lake and San Mateo counties. She is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law and UC Davis.

 Scrogin was appointed to succeed Judge David E. Wasilenko, who retired while facing disciplinary charges and was subsequently censured and barred from performing court-appointed work by the Commission on Judicial Performance for using his office to grant favors to friends and family members charged with traffic offenses.

 LaPorte and Scrogin are Republicans; Behnke is unaffiliated.


Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company