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Appointees to New Guardian Ad Litem Board Announced

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010

The Minnesota Supreme Court today announced the appointment of three members to the newly created State Guardian Ad Litem Board.  The Board was authorized by the 2010 Legislature (Laws of Minnesota 2010, Chapter 309, Section 5) to create and administer a statewide independent Guardian Ad Litem program to advocate for the best interests of children, minor parents, and incompetent adults in juvenile and family court cases; approve and recommend a budget for the Board and the Guardian Ad Litem program to the Legislature; establish procedures for distribution of funding to the Guardian Ad Litem program; and establish Guardian Ad Litem standards, administrative policies, procedures, and rules. 

The Guardian Ad Litem Board will consist of seven members; three appointed by the Supreme Court and four appointed by the Governor.  The Supreme Court appoints the chair of the Board from among the entire membership for a term of two years.  The Court's appointees include:

  • Richard T. Jessen, for a term ending Jan. 3, 2013. Jensen is a retired district court judge, and a former member of the Supreme Court's Children's Justice Advisory Committee . Jessen lives in Foley.
  • Cyrenthia Shaw, for a term ending Jan. 3, 2012. Shaw is a practicing lawyer, a lawyer volunteer and member of the Board of the Children's Law Center and lives in Brooklyn Park.
  • Mark Toogood, for a term ending Jan. 3, 2011. Toogood is Director of the Transition to Economic Stability Division for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. He previously served as State Guardian Ad Litem Program Manager for State Court Administration. Toogood lives in Minneapolis.

In addition, Leslie M. Metzen, Senior Director of Violence Prevention for 360 Communities and a retired district court judge from Sunfish Lake appointed to the Board by Governor Tim Pawlenty, was appointed to the position of chair by the Court for a term ending Sept. 20, 2012.  Her term on the Board expires Jan. 6, 2014.

Governor Pawlenty has also appointed Barbara J. Fabre, of Ogema, to a term that expires Jan. 2, 2012; Robert Quinn Sawyer, of Rochester, to a term that expires Jan. 3, 2011; and Wright S. Walling, of St. Louis Park, to a term that expires Jan. 7, 2013.