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Diana Becton sworn in as Contra Costa district attorney

Retired judge to serve out ex-DA Peterson's unexpired term

The newly appointed district attorney for Contra Costa County was sworn in at an informal ceremony in Martinez on Monday afternoon.

Diana Becton, a recently retired Contra Costa County Superior Court judge, will assume the position for now until early 2019, the expiration date of the elected term of former district attorney Mark Peterson, who resigned in June amid a campaign spending scandal and felony conviction.

Becton is the first woman and first African-American person to hold the post in the county.

"I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Supervisors to serve the people of Contra Costa County as District Attorney," Becton said after her appointment by the Board of Supervisors last week. "With over two decades of experience in the administration of justice and the practice of criminal law, I am excited by this new opportunity to reform our justice system and restore integrity to the DA's office."

The oath of office was administered by Supervisor Federal Glover, chair of the Board of Supervisors, Monday afternoon in the District Attorney's Community Room, located at 900 Ward St. in Martinez. The formal ceremony that traditionally accompanies the DA's assumption of office will take place at an unspecified date in the near future, according to county officials.

Becton was selected out of five finalists for the position earlier this month; 12 people initially applied for the job after the resignation of Peterson, who pleaded no contest to one felony count as part of a plea deal with state prosecutors after spending over $65,000 in campaign money on personal expenses.

The next regular election for the DA position is scheduled for next June, with a potential runoff election in November 2018. The elected winner's new four-year term will start Jan. 7, 2019. Becton has not immediately declared her candidacy for next year's election.

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