The Constitution of the State of California requires that a Civil Grand Jury be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county. The Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury is a basic part of the government, within the judicial branch. The Civil Grand Jury acts independently, but is under the general control of the Superior Court as an investigatory body created for the protection of society and the enforcement of the law.
The 2010-11 Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury was sworn in on July 1 by Presiding Judge Arthur Garcia in the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Jury members, who will serve for one year, are Rich Abbott – Montecito, JoAnne Banks – Carpinteria, Barbara Breza – Solvang, James Christensen – Santa Maria, Gerald Corrigan – Santa Barbara, Herman Fogata – Santa Barbara, Travis Gibbons – Santa Maria, Patricia Grigg – Santa Maria, Larry Hansen -Santa Barbara, Gary Johns – Santa Barbara, Gary Keefe – Lompoc, Kathryn McKee – Santa Barbara, Joseph Navarro – Santa Barbara, Pam Olsen – Santa Barbara, Jack Snyder – Santa Barbara, Charles Stauffer – Solvang, Ted Sten – Summerland, Peter van Duinwyk – Santa Barbara, and Stephen Weiss – Santa Barbara.
This year’s foreperson is Kathryn McKee who will lead the 19 citizens from our county, serving as the jury’s liaison to the courts and media.
Each year a Grand Jury is empanelled to represent the citizens of Santa Barbara County. All 58 counties in California are required by the California Penal Code to have a Grand Jury. The jury has been labeled the county “watch dog” looking into complaints received by citizens concerning an aspect of our county government. The jury thoroughly investigates the complaints with their year culminating in a published final report of the years’ work. For more information about the Grand Jury’s published reports or for complaint forms go to their web site [please note, some browsers may display a “warning” about logging in, which can be ignored].