- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court has appointed Maria Elena Cruz to the post of Presiding Judge for Yuma County.

She will start her job on March 25 and succeed Judge John Nelson, who’s retiring.

Cruz will serve as Presiding Judge until June 30, 2019.

The Presiding Judge has administrative authority over all courts, judicial officers and court employees in Yuma County.

Cruz has been a Yuma County Superior Court judge since January 2009 and currently is assigned to criminal and domestic relations cases.

She previously was a judge for the Cocopah Indian Tribe, a deputy county attorney and a deputy Legal defender and worked in private practice as a lawyer.

Cruz is a graduate of Arizona Western College and the University of Arizona where she earned her psychology and law degrees.

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