MENDOCINO Co., 10/16/19 — After serving on the bench for nearly 15 years since his appointment in 2005, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke has announced he will not be seeking re-election to the Mendocino County court and will be retiring at the end of his current term.
Behnke was appointed in 2005 by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger after working for nearly three decades as a local attorney. In Mendocino County, Behnke sat in the Willits court and then presiding over civil matters at the Ukiah court prior to transferring to the adult criminal court presiding over felony cases.
In his outgoing statement, Behnke thanked his previous advisors and mentors on the court, as well as the courthouse staff and jurors from the public, stating, "I thank the citizens of Mendocino County for giving me the opportunity to serve and I thank the thousands of jurors who assisted the court during my tenure.”
Here's the full announcement from the court:
JUDGE JOHN BEHNKE TO RETIRE
Superior Court Judge John Behnke has announced that he will not seek reelection to a fourth term as judge of the Superior Court of California for the County of Mendocino. He plans on retiring from full time judging at the end of the year.
Judge Behnke was appointed to the bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law for nearly 28 years and served as a named partner in a prominent local firm. After his appointment, he sat in the Willits Branch for two years followed by a five year assignment in Department E of the Ukiah Court handling all civil matters. Since 2012, he has worked in adult criminal court handling felony matters from arraignment through trial. Judge Behnke served as the Assistant Presiding Judge during 2014-2015 and as the Presiding Judge during 2016-2017.
Judge Behnke said, “It has been a privilege to serve as a judge of this court. Mendocino County has always had a strong bench. Previous judges such as Bev Broaddus, Timothy O’Brien, James Luther, and Conrad Cox were outstanding role models for me. It has been a pleasure to serve with the other members of the bench, both current and retired, as well as our hard-working staff. I thank the citizens of Mendocino County for giving me the opportunity to serve and I thank the thousands of jurors who assisted the court during my tenure.”