Former City of Cottonwood Magistrate Aaron Douglas LaSota has been appointed city magistrate of the city of Apache Junction.
The Apache Junction City Council on Tuesday night voted to appoint and swore in Judge LaSota. LaSota has more than 40 years of experience in law, in private practice, serving in city prosecutor’s and public defender’s offices and as a judge in various jurisdictions.
“We are confident that Judge LaSota will serve our city well as municipal judge,” said Apache Junction Mayor Chip Wilson. “We look forward to him taking over our court and making it the best it can be.”
LaSota was the Cottonwood magistrate for 10 years, ending in 2019. LaSota has been in private practice since. While serving as the Cottonwood city judge, LaSota also heard juvenile cases in Yavapai County.
Prior to his time in Cottonwood, Judge LaSota was a judge pro tem in the municipal courts of Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale. He also served as a justice of the peace pro tem for Maricopa County.
Prior to his municipal appointments, Judge LaSota was in private practice in Phoenix after a short stint as a deputy public defender in the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office and as an assistant city prosecutor in the city of Phoenix prosecutor’s office.
Judge LaSota earned his law degree from Arizona State University in 1980 after receiving his bachelor’s from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.
LaSota replaces Judge James Hazel, who left Apache Junction earlier this year to take the magistrate position with the Town of Oro Valley.