Friday, August 8, 2008
Two Superior Court Judges, One Commissioner to Step Down
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Two Los Angeles Superior Court judges and a commissioner will step down in the coming months, the MetNews has learned.
Judges Suzanne Person and Darlene Schempp are set to retire Sept. 15 and 30, respectively, both having spent almost a quarter century on the Superior Court, while Commissioner Martin Wegman is set to retire Monday after 19 years of service.
Person, 59, was appointed in 1983 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian after having worked on his primary and general election campaigns the previous year.
Born in Sonora, she attended California State University, Los Angeles, graduating in 1971, and then Loyola Law School, clerking for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office prior to her 1975 graduation.
After her admission to the State Bar of California the following year, Person became an associate with Murchison and Cumming.
She joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office as a deputy district attorney in 1977, and was assigned to the office’s Sexual Crimes Division prosecuting rapes immediately prior to her appointment by Deukmejian.
Person is currently assigned to the Pomona North Courthouse, but has been on long term medical leave following back surgery. East District Supervising Judge Thomas Falls indicated that Person’s retirement was related to the surgery, but said he did not know her future plans beyond a “long recuperation.”
Schempp, 77, was appointed to the Superior Court by Deukmejian in 1984 after having served as a commissioner on the court for seven years.
Originally born in Portland, Ore., she attended Hollywood High School and Los Angeles City College, and then worked as a legal secretary from 1950 to 1962 in the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office.
She then worked as a deputy clerk on the Superior Court for the next eight years before graduating in 1970 from the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law, now the University of La Verne College of Law.
Schempp joined the District Attorney’s office after her admission to the State Bar that year, and remained there until her election as a commissioner by judges on the Superior Court in 1977. While a commissioner, she heard family law matters and also served on the Commission on Child Support Development and Enforcement from 1983 to 1984 by Deukmejian’s appointment.
Schempp is currently assigned to the Van Nuys West Courthouse.
Wegman, a native of Germany, was elected commissioner by the court’s judges in 1989.
A former member of the U.S. Army, he attended college at California State University, Northridge, before graduating from the Santa Clara University School of Law.
He was admitted to the State Bar in 1974, and served as a deputy public defender for 13 years prior to his election to the bench.
In 2001, then-Northwest District Supervising Judge Paul Gutman selected Wegman to preside over the Van Nuys Community Court, a pilot project intended to eliminate low-level misdemeanor quality-of-life crimes such as drinking in public, loitering and graffiti.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company