Top Placer County probation, library jobs filled

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County is filling two key management posts from within its own ranks. Mary George, who started with Placer County as a library clerk 19 years ago, has been promoted from assistant director of library services to director. She has been serving as acting director since the Dec. 30 departure of Mark Parker, who retired after five years with the county. Marshall Hopper, a 14-year Probation Department employee, has been named to replace the retiring Stephen Pecor. Pecor steps down later this month after 29 years with the county, including the last five as Placer’s chief probation officer. George now directs a Placer County library network of 11 branches, with 92 employees and an annual budget of $5.6 million. The assistant director of library services since 2001, George said Placer County libraries have been a big part of her life since her childhood in Christian Valley. “Riding my horse to visit the branch library in Applegate was one of my favorite pastimes,” George said. “To me, being named director of library services now is a dream come true.” County Executive Officer Tom Miller selected Hopper for the chief probation officer post after consulting with Placer County Superior Court Presiding Judge Alan Pineschi. Supervisors confirmed both Hopper and George’s appointments at Tuesday’s board meeting. Hopper was hired by Placer County as a deputy probation officer in 1997 and appointed assistant chief probation officer last year. In his new job, Hopper will oversee a department responsible for supervising more than 4,000 offenders on probation in the county. The department also operates the county’s Juvenile Detention Center in North Auburn, alternative sentencing programs and jail food services. The department has an operating budget of more than $24 million and employs 142. Hopper started out as a group counselor in Shasta County in 1989 before moving to El Dorado County two years later. A Roseville resident, Hopper has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento, and a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. George earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from California State University, Chico and a master of library and information science degree from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.