Sally Tarnowski Wiki – Sally Tarnowski Biography
Judge Sally Tarnowski, who last served as a judge in St. Louis County in Minnesota, died on Monday, her family said. Tarnowski, 63, had served as a judge in the county since 2007, having risen to the chief judge of Minnesota’s Sixth Judicial District in 20016 under Governor Tim Pawlenty.
The judge had pioneered the state’s ‘Mental Health Court’ – which used judicial power to sentence people with psychological issues to treatment instead of prison – and heard cases just last week before heading south. She was still scheduled to hear out cases later this week upon returning from Venice, Florida, where she was vacationing with family. Her term as a county judge wasn’t set to run out until 2027.
Sally Tarnowski Age
Sally Tarnowski was 63 years old.
Minnesota judge Sally Tarnowski killed by a driver while on vacation in Florida
A moment of silence was held inside her courtroom and the memorial was set up on the steps of it on Tuesday. Tarnowski was beloved by people on all sides of the law, with public defender Veronica Surges – who faced off with Tarnowski several times – had received a call from a client who had been sentenced to prison in tears over her death, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
‘As a passionate defense attorney, I often disagreed with her rulings in my cases,’ Surges said. ‘At the same time, I deeply respected her because I could tell how much she cared about the people in my courtroom — especially my most mentally ill clients.’
Another attorney noted that she was friendly and hard-working, riding a bike to work often in Minnesota’s frigid weather, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said. ‘Underneath her tough exterior, she was one of the nicest, most compassionate, and most patient people I have ever met,’ Surges added.
She was contemplating retirement in 2025, according to those close to her but was still working a full schedule. This summer, the state will roll out what public defender Dan Lew called ‘mental health court lite,’ allowing people who have committed lesser offenses to get the same help those who have committed serious crimes have.
She was also an early proponent of neutral evaluation in family court, which facilitates prompt dispute resolution for custody, parenting time, and financial matters, WDIO said. Tarnowski was also praised by local Native American leaders who complimented her work on children going through the American justice system.
‘Her contributions to establishing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Courtroom in St. Louis County, which was emulated in courtrooms across the area, will always be a tremendous accomplishment,’ the board of the local Chippewa tribe said in a statement.’
‘Her continued support for the equality of Native American families was unheralded and a massive loss for the 6th Judicial District.” Tarnowski had two adult children, Katie and Ben, with her ex-husband Greg. St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin called her a deeply fair judge who enjoyed her work and life.
‘If you appeared in front of her, you might not agree with the result, but you really respected the way she went about making her decision and the way she treated the defendant and the victims and everyone in the courtroom,’ Rubin said.
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