Patricia Noland, clerk of Pima County Superior Court since 1999, will retire on March 31, ending three decades of government service.
"The past year has brought many changes to my family and personal life," Noland, 67, said in a news release. "It is now important that I make my family my number-one priority."
Noland was first elected clerk of Superior Court in 1998 and has been re-elected three times, most recently in 2010.
Before that, Noland served as a state representative and state senator.
"For 22 years the people of this county and the state have been my priority, and I tried to work every day to deserve their vote," Noland said, referencing the 22 years she spent as an elected official.
Between 1989 and 1997, Noland served two terms each in the state House and Senate, and then worked as an auditor for the Attorney General's Office, before she ran for Superior Court clerk.
Before going to the Legislature, she worked as Oro Valley court administrator and Casa Grande city administrator.
In her news release, Noland said under her direction, the clerk's office has been fully automated, online records made available for viewing and processes streamlined. She created the court's collection unit at the request of the Board of Supervisors, and has collected more than $5 million annually in past-due fines, fees, restitution and child support.
Gov. Jan Brewer will appoint a Republican to fill the last two years of Noland's term.
Noland said she has suggested Toni Hellon, her chief deputy.
Noland hired Hellon, who is also a former state senator, to head the office's records-retention unit in 2007.
"It would be a seamless transition," Noland said. "The public wouldn't notice a change, and my staff and the judges already know her."
The clerk of the Superior Court maintains the official records of the court and exhibits for court proceedings. The clerk is also responsible for processing lawsuits, marriage licenses, passports and child-support cases.
On StarNet:Go to azstarnet.com/politics to read more about local and state government and political news
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or email@example.com On StarNet: Follow courthouse news in Kim Smith's blog, At the Courthouse, at azstarnet.com/ courthouse