Cheryl Pellegrini, chief trial counsel for the Oregon Department of Justice, has been named to the Marion County judgeship left vacant by the recent death of Albin Norblad.
The appointment was announced Friday by Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Pellegrini has been with the Oregon Department of Justice since 1995, and is chief trial counsel for the agency's Trial Division. She has led the financial fraud/consumer protection and organized crime sections. She also was deputy chief counsel for the agency's Civil Enforcement Division.
"She has been a great asset to the state in her many roles at the Oregon Department of Justice and she will be as equally valuable to the court in her new role as judge," Kitzhaber said in a statement.
She came to the agency from Klamath County, where she was a deputy district attorney seven years, the final two of them as chief deputy. She began her career with Lane County Legal Aid.
She earned her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Oregon, the latter in 1987. Her bachelor's degree was in English literature.
Norblad died Feb. 10 in a fall at his home in Salem. He was 74, and would have turned 75 on March 15. Under the Oregon Constitution, he would have had to retire from the Marion County Circuit Court by the end of the year.
Pellegrini will have to run this year to win a full six-year term.
Earlier this week, Salem lawyer Channing Bennett said he would run for the position. Bennett lost a bid to Don Abar, then a deputy district attorney, for an open judgeship in 2012.
With Pellegrini's appointment, nine of 14 Marion County judges have come from the Oregon Department of Justice or district attorney offices.
The filing deadline is March 11.