Merced's newest judge took the oath of office on Friday, becoming Merced County's third female judge in history.
Jeanne E. Schechter, 54, of La Grange joined the Merced County Superior Court through a ceremony held Friday at Merced City Hall. She has served as a court commissioner in Merced since 2012.
Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced the appointment on Nov. 2, making Schechter the 35th judge in Merced's history.
Schechter also was chief deputy city attorney in Merced from 2004 to 2012 and senior deputy district attorney at the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office from 1991 to 2004, according to the governor's office.
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Donald Proietti, presiding judge of the Merced Superior Court, said the seat has been open for more than two years and he was glad to see it filled. He called City Hall an appropriate place to hold the ceremony given Schechter's past with the city.
The hall's chambers held friends and family. Schechter, too, said the hall was a fitting site for her promotion.
"This is where I put down my roots in Merced County," she said.
The court will begin the recruitment process to fill the now-vacant commissioner's seat, according to court CEO Linda Romero Soles.
Schechter fills the seat formerly held by Marc A. Garcia, who made history in 2007 by becoming the youngest person and the first Latino ever appointed to the Merced Superior Court bench. He resigned his position amid allegations of ethical violations in 2015.
Garcia admitted “errors in judgment” leading to his departure. He admitted failing to disclose payments totaling $250,000, money he was owed when he moved from private practice to the bench.
Schechter earned her law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a bachelor's of science degree from Ohio State University, according to the governor's office. Schechter is a Republican.