Fresno County Superior Court elects new presiding judge

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Alan M. Simpson has taken the position of presiding judge for the court as of Jan. 1, court spokeswoman Suzanne Abi-Rached said Friday.

Simpson chose Judge Arlan L. Harrell as his assistant presiding judge.

Simpson was appointed to the Fresno County Superior Court in 2000 by Gov. Gray Davis and has served on the court’s executive committee, Abi-Rached said. He is a past presiding judge of the criminal and civil departments, and a deputy district attorney in Fresno.

The presiding judge works with the court executive officer to lead the court, establish policies, and allocate resources, Abi-Rached said.

Harrell was appointed to the court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, joining the bench as a court commissioner in 2003. He previously was a senior deputy district attorney in Fresno.

Harrell has been a member of the court’s executive committee since 2009, Abi-Rached said, and is a past presiding judge of the felony department of the court.

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPan