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Sonoma County prosecutor appointed court commissioner

Laura Passaglia, a Sonoma County prosecutor since 2017, has been appointed to serve as a Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner.

Presiding Judge Brad DeMeo announced the appointment on Thursday.

Passaglia, 42, fills a seat vacated by former Commissioner Troye Shaffer, another former prosecutor, who was appointed as a Superior Court judge.

“Commissioner Passaglia will be a tremendous asset to the public and legal community in general. She was most deserving of the appointment,” DeMeo said in a written statement.

Commissioners perform subordinate judicial duties, including conducting hearings, making findings and issuing orders in civil, criminal, family, child support, juvenile, small claims and traffic matters. They may also serve as temporary judges.

For five years, Passaglia was a Sonoma County deputy district attorney, and was responsible for a complex caseload including domestic violence, sexual assault and murder cases.

Before coming to Sonoma County, Passaglia was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, where she began working in 2007 after passing the California bar exam.

There, she advanced from handling misdemeanors to felonies, successfully taking on serious and violent felonies ranging from murders to sexual assaults and human trafficking, DeMeo’s announcement said.

A San Francisco native and a graduate of UCLA and USF School of Law, Passaglia lives in Sonoma County with her husband, Ryan McCarthy, and their daughter, Stella.

She also serves as vice president for the California Lawyer’s Association Executive Committee Criminal Law Section and is a member of Sonoma County Temporary Judge’s Panel, where she serves as Pro-Tem for the Small Claims Court.

Passaglia has been an active member of the Teamsters Union and the California Women Lawyers Association.

“On behalf of all Sonoma County Superior Court judicial officers and the entire court administration, I happily welcome Commissioner Laura Passaglia to our bench,” DeMeo said. “Commissioner Passaglia brings to our court enthusiasm, knowledge and extensive experience in the law. We are delighted to have her join us.”

Passaglia will be officially sworn in on Monday and will be assigned to misdemeanor cases.

Commissioners earn an annual salary of $182,000.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.

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