Napa County attorneys interested in becoming Superior Court judges are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to make a decision on two positions. The first became available in June when Judge Francisca P. Tisher officially retired; the second position is that of Judge Michael Williams whose last day was Monday.
Williams agreed to resign after being informed that he had been caught on video stealing two Art Deco-style business card holders from a judges’ dinner in San Francisco last March.
Saying that judicial appointments are a “confidential personnel decision,” Brian Ferguson, deputy press secretary for the Office of Gov. Brown, said that he could not share details on applicants, including their names.
Superior Court judges earn $200,042 annually.
Although Brown’s office hasn’t released any information, local attorneys have confirmed that the vetting process has begun for at least one of the open positions.
Potential candidates include attorneys from the Napa County District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office as well as private attorneys and the two current court commissioners.
Deputy DA Lance Hafenstein, who has worked with the prosecutor’s office for more than 20 years, confirmed Thursday that he has applied.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in doing for quite some time,” Hafenstein said.
If he doesn’t get appointed, he said, he anticipates staying with the DA’s office.