EL CENTRO – Yesterday, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors announced the appointment of Ben Salorio as the new Chief Public Defender of the Imperial County Public Defender’s Office (ICPDO) to replace retiring Chief Public Defender Timothy Reilly who retires on October 13, 2016. Mr. Salorio will begin serving as Chief Public Defender on October 14, 2016.
“Mr. Salorio comes in very eager and ready to learn some new things as the Chief Public Defender,” stated Supervisor Jack Terrazas, Chairman of the Board. “He possesses a great deal of trial court experience and he will develop additional administrative and budgetary knowledge over time in this new role.”
Mr. Salorio has been a county employee for almost twelve years. He worked for the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office for two and a half years before moving over to the ICPDO to serve as Senior Public Defender for nine years. As Senior Public Defender, he handled cases of a violent nature such as murder, sexual assault, robbery, carjacking and more. He also worked at the District Attorney’s Office in Oakland, California for almost two years. Among his achievements, Mr. Salorio was awarded “Trial Attorney of the Year” by the Imperial County Bar Association in 2009 in recognition for his work as a trial advocate.
About his new position, Mr. Salorio stated, “I am grateful, and humbled, to be working as the Chief Public Defender of Imperial County, and I thank the Board of Supervisors for placing their trust in my leadership of this wonderful office. I look forward to many years of continued hard work providing the best indigent legal defense in Imperial County.”
Mr. Salorio, an Imperial County native, graduated from Central Union High School and served in the United States Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky for three years. He later received his bachelor’s degree in History from San Diego State University. Salorio then went to law school in San Francisco at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.