Merced County Judge Donald Proietti has been elected as the presiding judge by his peers at the Merced Superior Court.
The former civil attorney will start his two-year term on Jan. 1, according to a news release. The judges hold the internal election every other year.
The authorities of the presiding judge, as explained by the California Rules of Court, include assigning judges to departments, assigning and reassigning cases, calling meetings of the judges, appointing standing and special judge committees, acting as a spokesperson for the court and authorizing expenditures of the court.
Proietti was appointed to the Merced County bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 as part of 2006 legislation that created 50 additional judge positions in California, according to the release.
Merced County Judge Mark Bacciarini, who is the designated criminal presiding judge, was elected for another two-year term as the court’s assistant presiding judge. As the assistant presiding judge, Bacciarini would assume the presiding judge’s duties in Proietti’s absence.
Bacciarini, a former 10-year Merced County prosecutor, was appointed to the Merced County bench by Schwarzenegger in 2010.