Thursday, November 3, 2011
Commissioner Michael Kautz Set to Retire in December
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner A. Michael Kautz said yesterday that he intends to step down from the bench in December.
He is the third bench officer to confirm his participation in the voluntary separation program established last month to provide commissioners with an incentive to leave the court’s employ before the end of the year. Commissioners Robert Axel and Stanley Genser have both said they will be retiring as well.
Kautz chuckled as he admitted the “severance pay had a lot to do” with his decision. “I had kind of thought about it, but I put it on the back burner, so when they came out with this program, I thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s time,’ ” he related.
The commissioner also noted that he has “got 24 years in on the court now,” will be turning 71 next week, and that his wife is “close to retiring.”
Kautz said he and his wife are “getting to the point we’d like to spend some time with our grandchildren,” and that he took “all these factors into consideration” in resolving to retire.
He admitted that he did not have any plans as to how he will spend his time after leaving the bench. “I’m going to just kind of do nothing, I think that’s what it’s all about,” Kautz said.
“When you retire, you’re not supposed to have a lot to do,” he surmised, although “I’m a little worried about getting bored.”
Kautz said he may go to San Diego, where some of his grandchildren live, and do some yard work for his son, since his son “doesn’t seem to do it.”
He also said he was considering relocating to Louisiana, where he also has grandchildren, to “sit back with my BB gun and shoot mosquitoes.”
The commissioner, who sits in Compton, originally hails from Kenosha, Wis. Kautz served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 until 1965, achieving the rank of staff sergeant.
He earned a degree in engineering from the University of North Dakota before attending law school at the University of West Los Angeles and joining the State Bar in 1974.
Kautz then ran a solo practice in Torrance, concentrating on personal injury and criminal defense, until he was elected commissioner in 1987.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company