Board Appoints County Counsel

Board Appoints County Counsel

The Board of Supervisors has appointed Deanne H. Peterson as County Counsel for Tulare County at their December 13 Board meeting. The appointment will be effective on March 26, 2017 immediately following the retirement of County Counsel Kathleen Bales-Lange.

The Board also took action to add the position of Associate County Counsel to the office’s position allocation plan. It is anticipated that Peterson will be appointed to this position effective January 15, 2017, to allow for an effective and orderly transition.

“It’s been a privilege working with Kathleen all these years and she has worked hard to safe guard the Board and the County,” said Chairman Michael Ennis. “We look forward to working with Deanne and feel she is the most qualified to take the office and will make it even better.” 

Prior to her appointment, Peterson served as the Assistant County Counsel for Merced County. Peterson is no stranger to Tulare County, she has worked in the Office of County Counsel as a Deputy Attorney for 18 years and rose to the rank of Chief Deputy for the Labor and Employment Team prior to her move to Merced County.

Peterson received her Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School and is a former President of the Tulare County Bar Association.

“I am grateful to the Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to serve as the County Counsel,” stated Peterson. “I am looking forward to leading the very capable staff as we continue the mission of the office to provide quality and innovative services to our clients, and which support the public good.”  

As County Counsel Peterson will oversee all aspects of the Office of County Counsel and will serve as the Chief legal advisor to the Board of Supervisors, County Administrative Office, Civil Grand Jury, and County elected officials, and department heads.

County Administrative Officer, Michael Spata, stated that he is delighted with Peterson’s appointment and he added that she will heighten the Board’s approach to implement a business model when conducting departmental operations.

Peterson will fill the position upon the retirement of Kathleen Bales-Lange, who has served the County for 36 years including the role of County Counsel since 1997. “I am very pleased with the Board’s choice and confident that Deanne will lead the office in continued success,” shares Bales-Lange.

The Office of County Counsel renders legal services to the County of Tulare and related public agencies. This includes legal representation and counsel to the Board of Supervisors, County departments, special districts and other public agencies in matters of civil concern.