July 30, 2012
The Daily Journal [subscription required], the Sacramento Bee, and the Metropolitan News-Enterprise report that, on Friday, the Judicial Council named retired Shasta County Superior Court Judge Steven Jahr as the new director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). You may recall that the AOC’s previous permanent director retired last year amid criticism of the agency. According to the Daily Journal, Jahr is a longtime supporter of the effort to centralize administration of the California courts, having worked with former Chief Justice George to unify the courts in the 1990’s, and more recently authoring a letter in opposition to AB 1208, the stalled Trial Court Rights Act, which is backed by the anti-centralization Alliance of California Judges.
In a statement, Jahr said, “As a former presiding judge, I know and appreciate that taking care of the administrative side of the courtroom helps make a judge succeed. . . . I have been in public service during much of my career, and I look forward to continue serving the public in my new role.” The Alliance, for its part, is at best lukewarm about Jahr’s appointment, expressing its “concerns” and calling for the “immediate implementation” of the recommendations of the Chief Justice’s Strategic Evaluation Committee, which recently issued a report sharply critical of the AOC.