Bullhead City Magistrate Pete Psareas Retires

Published by The Bee News

February 7, 2023

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Bullhead City, AZ., February 07, 2023 – After more than 21 years of dedicated service to the City of Bullhead City, Pete Psareas has hung up his robe as the Magistrate of the Bullhead City Municipal Court. Psareas was first hired to work for the city in December of 2001 as the full time Domestic Violence Prosecutor, a grant-funded position dedicated exclusively to resolving cases of domestic violence in the city. He later accepted a position as Associate Magistrate in 2006, Interim Presiding Magistrate in 2011, and Presiding Magistrate in 2012.   

“On behalf of the City Council, we congratulate the magistrate and wish him well in his retirement,” Bullhead City Mayor, Steve D’Amico said. “Pete did a fantastic job for the city.”  

Psareas first came to the city with a Juris Doctorate from ASU, and 8 years of miscellaneous legal work as both a Defense Attorney and Contract Prosecutor.

“I did a lot of unintentionally free attorney work,” said Psareas humorously of his time between graduating law school and starting his career as a prosecutor for the City of Bullhead City.

Money wasn’t the only motivation Psareas had for making Bullhead City his home for the next 21 years. In fact, Psareas has some strongly worded advice for younger people starting their lives.

“Life sucks if you don’t like your job,” Psareas said. “Look around and see what you like and give it a shot. If you don’t like it, you can always try something else.”

 Psareas has never worked too long at a job he didn’t like. Whether as a tour guide in Philadelphia’s independence hall, or doing unintentionally pro-bono legal work, Psareas has been quick to move on and try something else.

 For several reasons, Psareas chose to stick around in Bullhead City.

 “I really liked doing it because it was a way to help people,” said Psareas of his time as a prosecutor. “It was a chance to intervene and change people’s behavior for the better.”

 City Prosecutors have a lot of sway in influencing the nature of sentencing people face for their crimes. Psareas’ influence over sentencing only increased when he became the associate and then presiding magistrate of the City of Bullhead City.

 Always motivated by helping people, Psareas lists the creation of the Veterans Court, the Quality-of-Life Court, and new renovations currently being made at the Municipal Court as some of the things he was most proud of contributing to as City Magistrate. The Veterans Court was created in 2017, and the Quality-of-Life Court was created in 2022 under the guidance of Psareas, though he is quick to deny the credit for their creation.

 “We wouldn’t have a Veterans Court without Cindy Frizelle,” Psareas said. “Judge Condray started the Quality-of-Life Court.”

 Psareas’ last day with the City of Bullhead City was Friday, February 3, 2023. The City presented Psareas with a few parting gifts during his office retirement, a coffee mug with bull and the words, “Bullhead Arizona,” written on it, a plaque congratulating him on his retirement and a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro that at just a few inches long and a few inches tall, was a bit smaller than the sports car he was hoping for.

Richard Speer was sworn in as the new City Magistrate during the January 17 City Council Meeting. After working alongside Psareas for a few weeks, Speer began his first unchaperoned day as City Magistrate Monday February 6.

“Bullhead is a nice place and I’m looking forward to being a part of the community,” Speer said.

Pictured: The 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Psareas received for his retirement was just a little too small for him to drive.

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