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Former Stanislaus County Public Defender takes oath as new Superior Court judge

Sonny Sandhu, the former Stanislaus County Public Defender, is sworn-in as the newest judge for the Stanislaus Superior Court by judge Ricardo C—rdova during a formal ceremony Friday Nov. 30, 2018 in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place in downtown Modesto, Calif.
Sonny Sandhu, the former Stanislaus County Public Defender, is sworn-in as the newest judge for the Stanislaus Superior Court by judge Ricardo C—rdova during a formal ceremony Friday Nov. 30, 2018 in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place in downtown Modesto, Calif. jlee@modbee.com

Sonny Sandhu, the former Stanislaus County Public Defender, was sworn in as the newest judge for the Stanislaus Superior Court during a formal ceremony Friday.

Sandhu was one of 33 new judges throughout California appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 11. The newly appointed judge has told The Modesto Bee he is the first Asian-American serving on the Stanislaus Superior Court bench, perhaps the first person of the Sikh faith.

He was officially sworn in by Stanislaus Superior Court Presiding Judge Ricardo Córdova on Nov. 16, so Sandhu could begin his new job. The court then scheduled the formal investiture ceremony Friday to invite the public.

Before his appointment in October, Sandhu had worked for the Public Defender’s Office since 2003. He worked as deputy public defender and chief deputy public defender. He was appointed to head the office last year to replace retiring Tim Bazar.

Maureen Keller now has replaced Sandhu as the interim county public defender.

Sandhu was born and raised in Modesto. He has said he always aspired to have a career in the community he lives in, and he plans to be a judge who adheres to the law and brings compassion to the courtroom.

Sandhu earned a juris doctor degree from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He will be filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Timothy Salter.

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