4
| News |

Longtime Paradise Valley Judge Elsa Lynch to Retire; In Unusual Position, She Is Also Court Manager

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Elsa Lynch, Paradise Valley's longtime judge and court manager, will retire July 15.

Her position is so unusual, the town might need two people to replace her. She's the only court administrator we've ever heard of who is also a municipal judge. The town's Web site says she's an "Arizona Supreme Court Certified Limited Jurisdiction Judge."


Lynch had been a court manager in Orange County, California before she got hired on in Paradise Valley's court 18 years ago, when the town's pioneering speed-camera program was just three years old. She found too much of the Wild West in the upscale burg, she says.

One defensive-driving school paid the town with large sums of cash. Court clerks examined photo-enforcement evidence and decided whether a motorist was, indeed, the person pictured in a speed-camera ticket. Lynch says she immediately put a stop to the latter practice, which she called a violation of normal rules of evidence.

"I completely changed the way they did photo radar," she says.

Despite her role as Photo-Enforcement Queen in Paradise Valley, we've always found Lynch approachable and without the sort of ego you might encounter with a standard judge, perhaps because she found her way to the black robes in an atypical manner. When we interviewed her for our 2006 feature article on photo enforcement, we happened to mention that most city courts separate the photo tickets going to corporate violators as a way to save court time and money. She quickly had her court do it the same way.

Lynch says she plans to travel before finding some other kind of work to keep busy.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.