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Three North County Judges Get New Assignments

Three North County judges played musical chairs this week as they were given new assignments. 

Newly appointed Judge James Voysey, a former assistant public defender, will now preside over cases in Lompoc, according to Darrel Parker, Santa Barbara County Superior Court executive officer.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Voysey as a judge late last year to fill the Santa Maria vacancy created by the death of Judge Edward Bullard.

Voysey spent the first few months on the bench in Santa Barbara Superior Court to fill an empty seat there and avoid possible conflicts of interest with his previous job, Parker said. 

In Voysey’s role with the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office, he was involved in most of the cases handled there, and likely would have had to recuse himself frequently if he worked as a new judge in Santa Maria.

“As a supervisor, he reviewed most cases that went through that office,” Parker said.  

With the June 18 appointment of Deputy District Attorney Michael Carrozzo to the Santa Barbara vacancy, Parker said, court officials decided to move Voysey to the North County, assigning him to Lompoc to decrease the likelihood of a conflict.

Carrozzo isn’t expected to encounter many conflicts since he wasn’t a supervisor, according to Parker.

Lompoc’s previous judge, James Iwasko, moved to Santa Maria Department 9 to handle arraignments. Iwasko has served as a judge since October 2002.

Judge John McGregor moved to Department 6, a trial court, after previously overseeing arraignments in Department 9.

Because of the workload, Judge Rick Brown, who retired from Santa Barbara County but returned to help out, will continue temporarily.

He is presiding over seven-defendant trial involving the gang-related torture and slaying of Anthony Ibarra in Santa Maria last year.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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