Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 12, 2005


Page 4


Former Inglewood Police Officer Among Five Named to Superior Courts in Northern California


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday named five lawyers, including a former Inglewood police officer, to fill Superior Court vacancies in several Northern California counties.

Kenneth J. Gnoss, who served on the Inglewood force from 1974 to 1981 and is now chief deputy district attorney in Sonoma County, was named to the Sonoma Superior Court.

The other appointees are Eugene Balonon, executive director of the state Gambling Control Commission, to the Sacramento Superior Court; Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Patricia Scanlon to the Contra Costa Superior Court; Garrett L. Wong, senior counsel for SBC Communications, to the San Francisco Superior Court; and Redwood City sole practitioner Lisa Novak to the San Mateo Superior Court.

Gnoss, 53, joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1984 after graduating from Western State University School of Law and was promoted to chief deputy in 1986. His undergraduate degree is from Pepperdine University.

He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laurence K. Sawyer.

Balonon, 48, was named to the gaming post last year. He previously served three separate tours of duty as a deputy district attorney in Sacramento in between service as as chief deputy and director of the California State Lottery and as counsel and later deputy director of the Office of Criminal Justice Planning.

He also taught at his alma mater, Lincoln Law School, for three years and earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, San Francisco. His affiliations include the National Trial Lawyers Association and the Asian Bar Association.

He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffrey L. Gunther.

Scanlon, 50, has worked for the Office of the Public Defender since 1982, the last four years in juvenile court after handling a variety of adult criminal cases during her first 19 years. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Boalt Hall School of Law.

Wong, 50, joined SBC Communications in 2001 after 14 years in private practice. His previous positions included deputy public defender in San Francisco and supervising attorney for the Juvenile Justice Clinic of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned a master of law degree.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania law school and UC Berkeley, and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Alex Saldamando.

Novak, 39, started her practice—focusing on civil litigation and criminal defense—in 2001 after more than eight years in the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. The San Jose State University and Hastings College of the Law graduate succeeds Judge Phrasel L. Shelton, who retired.

Gnoss and Balonon are Republicans. Scanlon, Wong, and Novak are Democrats.


Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company