Cruz gets appointed to Presiding Judge for Yuma County

Cruz gets appointed to Presiding Judge for Yuma County

YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Supreme Court has appointed Maria Elena Cruz to be Presiding Judge of Yuma County.

Cruz will take over her new position on March 25th, assuming administrative authority over all courts, judicial officers, and court employees in the county.

Her appointment comes after Judge John Nelson announced his retirement.

“My colleagues and I were impressed with Judge Cruz’s efforts to improve the administration of justice and to serve her community. She has taken on leadership roles and actively participated in various court committees, and she is highly respected by those who have worked with her in legal and non-legal settings,” Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales said. “These are qualities that make a good leader and I am confident she will serve Yuma County well in her new role.”

Cruz has been a Superior Court judge since 2009. She was also a judge for the Cocopah Indian Tribe, she also held several attorney titles prior to her roles as a judge.

She graduated from Arizona Western College, University of Arizona, and the University of James E. Rogers College of Law.

Officials with the Arizona Supreme Court say Cruz will serve as Presiding Judge until June 30, 2019.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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