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Saying that his position has become a "lightning rod for controversy," Ronald G. Overholt resigned today as interim administrative director of California's court system.

Overholt's move comes as the court system's statewide decisions have come under increasing fire and a group of dissident judges is pushing Assembly Bill 1208 to grant local courts more control over spending.

Overholt, in a written statement, noted that courts have operated for the past three years in an "anxiety-generated climate" of fiscal crisis that has prompted ongoing budget reductions and internal reorganization efforts.

"My decision is based on a number of factors," Overholt said of his resignation.

"Among them is that the position of administrative director of the courts has become a lightning rod for controversy, impacting the focus on budget discussions, Judicial Council governance of the judicial branch, and the Administrative Office of the Courts itself."

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye called Overholt's decision "understandable but unfortunate."

Overholt's 30 years of service in court administration, including his stint as interim administrative director since September 2011, have been exemplary and his departure is a great loss to the state's judicial system, Cantil-Sakauye said.

"But we respect his judgment that a transition is necessary at this time for him and for the court system he has served so well," she said.

A new interim director will be selected while a national search continues for a permanent director.


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