Jason Holmberg was appointed Monday by Gov. Jan Brewer to be the newest judge on the Pinal County Superior Court, according to a release.
Holmberg, who has worked in the Pinal County Attorney’s Office since 2009, takes over for judge Janna Vanderpool, who announced her resignation last September due to medical issues.
Vanderpool suffers from Sjögren’s Syndrome, an auto immune disease in which white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands.
Holmberg’s currently serves as bureau chief for the Special Victims Unit in the County Attorney’s Office; in this position, he handles sex crimes and cases of child and elder abuse.
The Pinal County Judicial Nominating Commission sent a list of nominees to Brewer, who eventually appoints a new judge.
“Jason is a welcome addition to the Pinal County Superior Court,” Brewer said in the release. “Not only has he emerged as a well-respected prosecutor, he has done so with highly sensitive and complex criminal cases. His toughness – coupled with a strong belief in a judge’s duty to strictly interpret and apply laws as written – will be a valuable asset to the bench and to the citizens of Pinal County.”
Holmberg’s background includes time as assistant bureau chief for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2009. While in law school, he worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and Hawthorne (Calif.) City Attorney’s Office.
Working with cold case detectives, Holmberg presents AZ POST-certified lectures on prosecuting sexual assault cases. He lectures on sex crimes to police academy cadets and co-developed the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office detective school.
Holmberg graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law in 2004 and earned an undergraduate communications degree from the University of Southern California in 2001.
Judges in Pinal County were previously selected by direct election. However, after the 2010 census showed Pinal County’s population exceeding a 250,000 threshold, Pinal’s judicial election process changed into one used by neighboring Maricopa and Pima counties, where judges are nominated by a commission and then appointed by the governor. Judges, however, remain on the ballot for a retention vote.