After more than 32 years as district attorney, Joyce Dudley decided earlier this year not to seek a fourth term and instead retire.
On Friday, she described her decision as “bittersweet and somewhat scary.”
Ms. Dudley began working at the age of six in her father’s restaurant in Queens, New York. She has never been unemployed until her final day of work on Monday, which was followed by a small retirement party.
Ms. Dudley will swear in District Attorney-Elect John T. Savrnoch today at 11 a.m. at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Dudley plans to leave Wednesday for an extended trip to Colorado.
“I grew up quite poor and I always dreamed about being able to ski to my heart’s content, so that is what this trip is all about,” said Ms. Dudley. “For me, this trip is also about discovering who I am without the most cherished positions I have held throughout my life: mother of four boys, wife (Joyce’s husband John died in 2019), and district attorney for the county of Santa Barbara. The best way to describe how I feel now is the old adage: ‘Parting in such sweet sorrow.’ The best part of my new life is that I will have uninterrupted time with those I love, including my children and grandchildren.”
Ms. Dudley said that she deeply appreciates the people she has worked with, as well as the people of the communities she has served.
Ms. Dudley said how thrilled she is that John Savrnoch will be her successor, and she feels her office is full of extraordinary professionals in every division.