Friday, October 14, 2011
Commissioner Stanley Genser to Leave Office at End of Year
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Stanley Genser said yesterday that he plans to step down on Dec. 31.
He told the MetNews that he “had been planning to retire by March of next year,” so when Presiding Judge Lee Edmon last week announced the launch of a voluntary separation program to provide commissioners with an incentive to leave the court’s employ before the end of the year, “that made the decision pretty easy.”
Genser, 69, remarked that he has “been working since I was 16 years old, without a break,” with his first job in a factory peeling potatoes for 65 cents an hour, and “that’s enough.”
The commissioner joined the court in 1983, working as a part-time juvenile referee, and then was elected to his current position, presiding over a dependency courtroom, in 1987.
“I don’t know anybody that’s sat longer in the state of California” on the same assignment, Genser said.
Looking back on his time on the bench, he said he thought he did “a really good job protecting kids and reuniting families,” noting that he has “had several children as well as parents, over my years, write me, thanking me for what I did.”
These letters, Genser said, “were a validation, and made me feel good.”
As he prepares to leave the bench, he said, “I’m proud of the job I’ve done.”
Genser began his legal career in 1968—after earning an accounting degree from UC Berkeley and completing law school at UCLA—as a deputy city attorney in Santa Monica.
He spent four years as an assistant city attorney, and 14 years in private practice, before joining the court.
During his retirement, Genser said he plans to “do a little traveling,” and “relax and just hang out with my wife.” He said they are set to take a cruise to New Zealand and Australia in March, and after that, he would “like to sit as an as-needed referee” on occasion.
Genser is the second court commissioner to announce his intended participation in the voluntary separation program. Commissioner Robert Axel on Tuesday was the first to report that he plans to step down.
Commissioners Patricia Ito, Marilyn Martinez, Steff Padilla and Marshall Rieger have said they were undecided. Martin Gladstein, Jeffrey M. Harkavy, Alan Friedenthal, John Chemeleski and Robert Harrison have said they do not plan to take part.
Edmon last week told the MetNews that the court stands to save $7,071,570 annually, starting in fiscal year 2012-13, if 30 commissioners opt to separate. If 30 court reporters participate in the incentive program being organized for them, the court would save an additional $3.6 million.
The program entails a one-time payment of six months salary to as many as 30 commissioners who voluntarily separate from court service effective Dec. 30, a court spokesperson said.
Any of the court’s 109 full-time commissioners in good standing are eligible to participate, and must inform the court before the close of business Nov. 21 if they wish to do so, the spokesperson added.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company