Court Announces Employee and Volunteer Service Awards for 2010

December 3, 2010

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley today announced the recipients of the Maine Judicial Branch performance awards for 2010.

Chief Justice Leigh I.Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court announced that the recipient of the “Judicial Branch Career Performance Award” was David Rowell of South Portland. The award is given to that person or persons who consistently contributes above and beyond expected job responsibilities to further the Judicial Branch mission. Mr. Rowell has served in the Judicial Branch for 34 years. In announcing the award Chief Justice Saufley said: In nominating Dave, his co-workers recognized that Dave has a wealth of institutional knowledge that he shares with ease and patience. For 34 years he has always been willing to go the extra mile and is a key contributor to the Finance Department by getting the job done with grace and good humor.

Janet Stocco, of Belgrade and Amy Veilleux of Winslow were awarded Special Service Awards. The award is given to that person or persons who make a contribution to improvements in the operation and performance of the Judicial Branch that is deserving of public recognition. Janet has served as a Law Clerk for the District Court since 2006. In conferring the award on Janet the Chief Justice said: “Janet works tirelessly to assist District Court judges in research and opinion writing, from the mundane to the most complex legal matters. She crafts legal memoranda that are masterful in style and legal substance. Law clerks often work in thankless anonymity, yet their work is absolutely critical to a high quality judicial system.”

Amy Veilleux, an employee for 8 years, who has been responsible for computer support for court employees, has taken on new responsibilities to support the computer servers for the courts. Chief Justice Saufley said: “Computer support is another critical job in the court system that often goes unrecognized, despite its critical importance. Amy is called upon to address technology challenges every day and helps keep the Branch running smoothly. In addition to her ‘consumer support’ Amy has taken on more responsibility for supporting the computer servers, and performs her job responsibilities promptly, cheerfully and professionally.”

The Roy Rice Award is given to that person, group, or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the safety and well being of the employees of the Judicial Branch and those persons who participate in court activities. Chief justice Saufley announced that this year’s winner is Joe Morelli, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department. In recognizing Officer Morelli, the Chief Justice said: “He is particularly adept at managing parties present in the protection from abuse cases. This docket often has a volatile mix of people and emotion and presents one of the court’s major safety risks. Joe understands well the issues surrounding domestic violence and the public is much safer for his presence. Kennebec County is one of the 4 counties whose sheriff continues to provide security for the courts.

Two employees, Sally Bourget, of Lisbon Falls, Clerk of the Cumberland County District and Superior Courts, and Penny Reckards, of Appleton, Clerk of Court for the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor were recognized as the “Outstanding Judicial Employees of the Year.” This award is conferred upon that person or persons who, during the course of the preceding year has best exemplified the qualities of competence in providing court services, commitment to public service, respect, courtesy to fellow employees and members of the public, and a willingness to learn and grow.

The Chief Justice said: “Both women have been absolutely instrumental in implementing major efficiencies in both courthouses. Both were leaders in creating the Clerks’ streamlined procedures in the Unified Criminal Docket, consolidating the criminal work of the District and Superior Courts into one seamless docket. At the same time, both have helped implement in our two largest courts the new Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program passed last year by the Legislature. And as if she did not already have enough to do, Penny Reckards oversaw the clerks’ move from two courthouses in Bangor to the new Penobscot Judicial Center, a move that meant the consolidation of two separate offices of clerks, as well as overseeing the physical logistics. The contributions that these two women have made in the last year, as well as over the last three decades-- collectively they have worked 57 years for the court-- cannot be overstated. We could not do it without them.”

Katrina Baum, of Kennebunk, was awarded the Judicial Branch Volunteer of the year Award awarded to that person who, in a voluntary capacity, assists the Judicial Branch in fulfilling its mission of administering justice by providing an accessible, efficient and impartial system of dispute resolution. Katrina has worked three days a week, since graduating from college in June. She has compiled 5 years of statistics regarding limited English proficiency (LEP) in the courts, as well as updating a 2003 Americans with Disabilities Act survey. Her efforts in tracking LEP services and assisting in providing accommodations to the disabled have helped the Brach in fulfilling its mission in providing an accessible, efficient, and impartial system of dispute resolution.

The Chief Justice said: all of these individuals consistently go beyond job descriptions and reasonable job expectations and inspire all of us to achieve more. In this time of deep budget cuts, the Judicial Branch is fortunate, indeed, to have such dedicated, long-standing, and hard working employees and volunteers. It is the key to successful operation during this period of budget challenges.”