El Centro, California - On Tuesday, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors announced the appointment of Public Defender, Ben Salorio, as the Interim County Executive Officer (CEO) following the recent resignation of Tony Rouhotas, Jr. Mr. Salorio will serve as Interim CEO effective immediately. Assistant Public Defender, Jason Gundel, will serve as Interim Public Defender while Mr. Salorio is to lead the county.

“Mr. Salorio has done an outstanding job during his tenure with the county,” stated Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Michael W. Kelley. “The Board is unanimously supportive of Mr. Salorio and we are confident in his ability to lead the county during this transitional period. Under his leadership, the Public Defender’s Office has pursued the highest quality of representation to ensure a fair and impartial system of justice for all.”

Mr. Salorio has been an employee of the County of Imperial since 2004, and appointed as the Public Defender in 2016. He was awarded “Trial Attorney of the Year” by the Imperial County Bar Association in 2009 in recognition of his extensive trial experience with the Public Defender’s Office. Prior to joining the County, he served as an Airborne Infantryman in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and awarded the National Defense Service Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Air Assault Wings, and Honorable Discharge.

About his new position, Mr. Salorio stated, “I am honored and grateful to accept the position of Interim CEO of Imperial County. I am thankful to our Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to lead the county during this interim period. I look forward to working with the Board on the important issues, opportunities, and challenges that lay before us in the coming weeks and month.”

Mr. Salorio is a 4th generation Imperial Valley native and graduate of Central Union High School, Imperial Valley College, and San Diego State University-Calexico. He graduated with a Juris Doctor (JD) in 2002 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.