arnold_gov_mug.jpgGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed four new Bay Area trial judges today to serve in Alameda County, Contra Costa County and Santa Clara County superior courts.
Federal prosecutor Iaona Petrou, 42, of Oakland, was named to the bench in Alameda County Superior Court.

Petrou is currently the criminal health fraud coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. She previously served as the office’s chief of major crimes.

Petrou, a Democrat, will replace retired Judge Morris Beautus. She received her college and law degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Contra Costa County Superior Court will be joined by Christopher Bowen, 42, of Richmond, who has been a deputy county public defender since 1994.

Bowen will fill a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position to a judgeship. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He is a Democrat.

Schwarzenegger also appointed two Santa Clara County Superior Court judges: Deputy District Attorney Javier Alcala, 57, of Mountain View, and Court Commissioner Deborah Ryan, 57, of San Jose.

Alcala, a prosecutor since 1983, earned his college and law degrees from the University of Santa Clara. He is a Republican and will take the seat of retired Judge Jack Kolmar.

Before becoming a court commissioner in 1999, Ryan served as senior assistant counsel for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and as a deputy county counsel.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis and her law degree from Santa Clara University. A Democrat, she will replace retired Judge John Herlihy.

The new judges will earn $178,789 per year.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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