The Bothell City Council confirmed the appointment of Mara Rozzano to the municipal court judge position last month.
Rozzano was ceremonially sworn in by superior court judge George Appel during the council meeting on Dec. 3.
In September, judge Michelle Gehlsen resigned and staff began a recruitment and selection process to fill the position. After an extensive recruitment, seven final candidates were interviewed by panels consisting of the city attorney, court administrator, lead prosecutor, lead probation officer, Bothell Police Department employees and four outside raters in the areas of public and private defense counsel and court administration.
“We had a very rigorous selection process and judge Rozzano was the top candidate of a very talented pool,” Bothell city manager Jennifer Phillips said in a press release. “She built the Monroe court and her passion for her community there, especially the youth, was evident and inspiring.”
The municipal court is a separate branch of city government, and the judge is responsible for the oversight of the court. Rozzano will be responsible for presiding over and adjudicating a variety of hearings and trials related to infractions, misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, the release states. She will also oversee the development and implementation of the court budget, administration of policies and procedures and management of all court employees.
“Bothell is a wonderful community and I’m ready to dive in and serve this community,” Rozzano said in the release. “I’m well aware that our court must be an efficient and financially sound partner of the city and look forward to tackling some of those issues.”
When asked about restorative justice in a recent council meeting, Rozzano’s passion for youth shone through, the release states.
“Our court’s success depends on close coordination between myself and our judicial team, law enforcement, attorneys and community members,” she said in the release. “When someone comes before me, especially youth, I’m merely addressing behavior or acts. I always treat the person with respect. Their acts do not have to define them.”
Rozzano has been the municipal court judge at the city of Monroe since Jan. 1, 2015. Prior to that, she had 24 years of criminal prosecution experience primarily as the deputy prosecuting attorney for Snohomish County and briefly as an assistant city attorney for the city of Kent. At the city of Monroe, Rozzano performed similar duties to Bothell’s own municipal court judge position, the release states. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the District Municipal Court Judges Association.
Rozzano’s current appointment fills the municipal court judge term that ends on Dec. 31, 2021.