Cline recommends Ward to fill his shoes
Retiring Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline recommended Tuesday that Assistant DA Tim Ward be named to replace him when he leaves office Dec. 15.
Cline, who has been the county’s DA for the past 20 years, made his retirement official when he addressed the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Cline has announced his intentions on Monday.
In acknowledging the fine supporting team he has now in place, including Ward, Cline said he feels good about leaving the department and entering that next phase of his life.
“My office is in extremely good shape,” said Cline, who then gave his endorsement to Ward to fill out the remaining two years of his term.
“Tim is not only a prosecutor’s prosecutor, he has done it all and he has administrator experience,” said the outgoing DA.
“Tim is eminently qualified and ready to serve the mantle of District Attorney,” he added.
Ward was hired as a Tulare County deputy district attorney in 1999. In 2006, he was hired as supervising attorney and was later promoted to his current position, assistant district attorney, in April 2011. The assistant district attorney position serves as an assistant department head and assists in the planning, organization, coordination and direction of the legal and administrative functions of the department.
The Board of Supervisors has the authority to appoint all vacancies in any office filled by the appointment of the Board and elective officers, except judges and supervisors.
Chairman Allen Ishida said the Board will consider Ward as a potential candidate for the position and hopes to make an appointment by the end of the month.
Ishida and the other board members praised Cline.
“Some of the things you initiated were adopted nationally,” praised the board chairman.
Supervisor Mike Ennis said Cline was “truly one of the faces of Tulare County. You’ve done an exceptional job.”
Cline had similar praise for the board and some advice.
Noting how the late supervisor Jim Maples mentored him when he first started, Cline encouraged the board members to mentor his successor as well.
Cline was appointed DA in 1992 and won re-election five times.