Riverside County's new District Attorney Paul Zellerbach took the oath of office Monday.
He replaces one-term District Attorney Rod Pacheco, whose time in office was mired in controversy.
Zellerbach, 57, who was a judge for 10 1/2 years and before that a Riverside prosecutor and manager in the office 22 years, took the oath during a short standing room only ceremony at the Riverside County Historic Courthouse.
He takes office after four stormy years that pitted the district attorney's office with the county and courts, and defense and civil bars.
Riverside County leaders criticized Pacheco for his abrasive management style, for resisting budget cuts and hiring freezes - and for allegedly doctoring the books to make it look as if his office had a budget surplus.
He's also taken it on the chin for what some critics in the African- American and Latino communities call a "heavy handed" approach to the county's gang problem. His news making gang sweeps and allegations of racial intolerance brought calls for a more holistic approach to non violent offenders. In a not so subtle jab at Pacheco, Zel lerbach vowed to restore integrity and professionalism to the DA's office.
Zellerbach says budget cuts and possible layoffs are inevitable, and that pink slips are coming.
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