Responding to the sudden resignation of Probate Judge Pam Smith amid a flurry of legal accusations, Sierra County Commissioners convened for a special meeting Wednesday morning, October 18. After considering a list of six proposed candidates, commissioners approved a motion to name former Sierra County Magistrate Court Judge Tom Pestak to fulfill Smith’s current term.
With chairman Ken Lyon attending by telephone, board members addressed the issue at hand. Vice-chair Frances Luna presided over the session and introduced a list of individuals who had come forward, expressing interest in serving as probate judge. Included among the candidates were former probate Judge William Robinson, Truth or Consequences Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Whitehead, attorney Tara Edgemond, area residents Bonnie Riley and Denise Addie-Villagomez, as well as Pestak, who also served a term as probate judge from 1994 to 1998.