Sleuthing Subordinate Gets Montgomery’s Gig

After about a year, the Marin County Superior Court has named a permanent CEO to replace John Montgomery, the former court executive officer who abruptly retired in March 2005 and whom local prosecutors recently charged with violating a conflict-of-interest law. The woman who is replacing him, Assistant CEO Kim Turner, has been filling in on an interim basis for about a year. She’s also apparently the one who set off the chain of events that lead to Montgomery’s March arrest.

Turner has long said that she approached the then-presiding judge in January 2005 with deeds to show that Montgomery owned properties with a woman who was working at the superior court under consulting contracts between the court and her employer. But last year, she remained publicly mysterious about how she had learned about the deeds, saying, “That’s my confidential source.”

Turns out, the source she was talking about was Montgomery himself. Sort of.

More details have come to light recently, with the public release of an administrative investigation done for the court, and an affidavit the district attorney’s office filed last month to support the allegations against Montgomery. Putting the two documents together, it appears that Turner has told authorities that a December 2004 discussion with Montgomery about mortgage rates set her to sleuthing. According to the documents, Turner has said that she had long been aware that Montgomery had sold his house in Hercules, Calif., because she had seen some of the documents related to that sale that had been faxed to their offices.

So when Montgomery “indicated” to her in their late 2004 conversation that the interest rate he mentioned was for his Hercules home, the prosecution's affidavit says that “she became upset that [he] lied to her about his residence, so she decided to conduct an Internet Web search to locate [his] current residence.” That was how, it says, she turned up information about the joint property ownership on a Web site called KnowX.com.

In a statement Monday, Presiding Judge Lynn Duryee said that since taking over as interim CEO, Turner “has implemented significant improvements to the court’s operations, worked to improve morale, and participated with many community and legal outreach groups.” The new CEO started at the Marin court nine years ago as fiscal manager, and after two years became an assistant court executive officer. According to the court, she has a degree in business administration from Sonoma State University.

Pam Smith

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2 Responses to “Sleuthing Subordinate Gets Montgomery’s Gig”

  1. Michael Ernst Says:

    So why has Linda Lau not be charged ?

  2. BigAlRev Says:

    Mr. Montgomery is innocent until proven guilty, lets not forget that.

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