Superior Court administrator takes job in Montana
Rick Lewis, Mohave County Superior Court administrator for almost a decade, has accepted a similar position with the Montana Supreme Court.
Lewis has been with Mohave County serving as the first ever, full-time court administrator for the Superior Court since 1992.
His last day will be Oct.
He plans to start his new job Oct.
"The first and most important accomplishment was creating a court administrator staff," Lewis said.
"There was no funding, no budget for a staff.
It has taken a lot of effort of the judges and staff to see the changes."
Under Lewis' leadership, the Superior Court system also implemented the court automation system, felony case management plan, the judicial employee personnel system, coordinated court budgets, court security program, new and improved facilities and upgraded law library services.
"He has been here a long time," Clerk of the Court Virlynn Tinnell said.
"He'll be missed.
He has lived through a lot of court battles as well as handling the budget issues for the court."
Superior Court Judge Gary Pope said he expects to appoint an interim director, then form a panel to recruit Lewis' replacement.
The panel may include another Superior Court judge, the clerk of the court and possibly someone from the probation department.
"This is another situation of Mohave County losing good people," Pope said.
As the court administrator for the Montana Supreme Court, Lewis will coordinate the state's district courts, which are transitioning from a county to a state-funded court system.
The county would still fund local courts such as justice and city courts.
District courts, the equivalent of a Superior Court in Arizona, will now be funded by the state.
Montana has 38 district court judges and 21 districts overlapping its counties, Lewis said.
Lewis, his wife, Cheryl and son Carson will reside in Helena.
"We're going to miss Mohave County," Lewis said.
"But we're also looking forward to Montana.
My wife and I grew up in Michigan so we know what cold is."