Kimberly Ortiz appointed as newest Pima County judge
Kimberly Ortiz will take the bench in Pima County Superior Court, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday, filling a seat left vacant by the retirement of Judge Paul E. Tang.
Kim Ortiz has been a judge pro tem for the Superior Court since November 2018, one of three full-time pro tem judges permanently assigned to the criminal bench. Ortiz has heard appeals from the Tucson City and Pima County Justice courts, and handled a full criminal docket in that role, Ducey's office said.
“Kim has given so much to the Southern Arizona community as a judge pro tem, as a prosecutor, and as a professor. I am pleased to appoint her" to the court, Ducey said in a news release.
Ortiz is an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona College of Law, her alma mater.
Before becoming a judge pro tem, Ortiz was a prosecutor in the Arizona Attorney General's Office for nearly 20 years, for a time serving as an assistant attorney general for the state.
From the governor's office:
She ultimately served as section chief counsel for the Southern Arizona White Collar & Criminal Enterprise Section from 2011 to 2018. As section chief, Kim managed all criminal cases initiated by the AG’s Office in Southern Arizona. She reviewed and approved felony charges against more than 1,700 defendants, and helped more than 3,000 victims recover restitution totaling over $34,000,000. She additionally handled personnel, budget, legislative and grant writing matters. Kim also served on the Wiretap, Ethics and Brady Committees. During her time as an assistant attorney general, she also handled civil forfeiture cases and defended medical malpractice claims in the Liability Management Section.
Ortiz began her prosecuting career handling drug cases for the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office from 1994 to 1999.
Ortiz was recognized by the State Bar of Arizona in 2018 with the Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award, which is given to one criminal prosecutor per year in Arizona "who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing the public’s interest with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism."