Having interviewed all three candidates for Superior Court Office 1, we are confident any one of them would make a good judge. But for the person who would make the best judge, we recommend Vicki Ashworth.
Mrs. Ashworth, a deputy district attorney with 16 years experience as a prosecutor, handles a couple hundred cases at any one time, maintaining thorough familiarity with them. On what she refers to as “Felony Monday” she handles 120-160 pre-preliminary felony cases.
She has handled high-profile murder cases such as the Morris Greenberg case, in which a retired Bay Area cop murdered a young man, and the 2006 Richard Hamlin case, a lawyer who was convicted of torture and domestic violence. Both Greenberg and Hamlin are in prison.
This is a prosecutorial track record that tells us she can step into Judge Douglas Phimister’s shoes. We feel confident she has the experience and work ethic to handle the famously huge criminal caseload that the retiring Judge Phimister does.
“It takes a lot to know the cases,” she told us.
Ashworth, 44, has both experience and maturity while still being young enough to handle the heavy load of a judge presiding in a criminal court. Her thorough working familiarity with the Evidence Code will form a good foundation for presiding over civil court matters as well.
We also note that Judge Wagoner, who also handles criminal court matters, has endorsed Ashworth.
It isn’t all work. The wife of a sheriff’s captain and mother of two, has volunteered for the past two years as a coach for Ponderosa High School’s mock trial team and is involved with her church.
She is not just a prosecutor. She regards herself as an advocate for justice. She is always open for information from a defense attorney that might lead her to plea bargain a case or even move for a dismissal.
“It’s not just about getting a prosecution; it’s about what’s fair,” she said.
She also has some ideas for allowing court filings when the court clerk’s window closes at noon on Friday.
With 80 percent of the cases in El Dorado County being criminal cases, we highly recommend Vicki Ashworth as “an advocate for justice” and we urge you to vote for her for Superior Court Judge in Office 1.