Earlier in 2022, District Attorney Joyce Dudley decided not to seek a fourth term and instead retire after over 32 years.
Today [Dec. 30, 2022], she described her decision as “bittersweet and somewhat scary.”
Joyce began working at age six in her father’s restaurant in Queens, New York. She has never been unemployed until her upcoming final day of work on January 2, 2023, which will be followed by a small retirement party.
Joyce will swear in District Attorney-Elect John T. Savrnoch on January 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Joyce then plans to leave the following day for an extended trip to Colorado.
“I grew up quite poor,” Joyce said, “and I always dreamed about being able to ski to my heart’s content, so that is what this trip is all about. 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 is 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.”
Joyce also stated that she deeply appreciates the people she has worked with, as well as the people of the communities she has served.
Joyce ended her comments by saying how thrilled she is that John Savrnoch will be her successor, and she feels her office is full of extraordinary professionals in every division.