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District Attorney David Hollister reads some comments about Jessica Beatley and Gary McFarland before he administers their oaths of office Jan. 12. Beatley thought she was attending the ceremony simply for McFarland, but when she saw her family in the audience, knew there was something else in store. Hollister promoted Beatley to the role of investigations supervisor. Photos by Debra Moore

DA administers oaths during courthouse ceremony

First woman promoted to head investigations in the department

“This is significant,” District Attorney David Hollister said as he announced that he was promoting Jessica Beatley to an investigations supervisor in his office.

Jessica Beatley poses with her daughters Megan, 5, and Sadie, 3, following the Jan. 12 swearing-in ceremony. Sadie is wearing her Supergirl outfit for the occasion.

Hollister addressed a packed audience Jan. 12 as he promoted Beatley and welcomed Gary McFarland as the newest member of the district attorney’s office.

Audience members included friends and family, Superior Court Judge Ira Kaufman, Sheriff Greg Hagwood, Board of Supervisors Chairman Lori Simpson, and staff from both the DA’s and sheriff’s offices.

“In the DA’s office, our mission is to assure justice is served in every case, every time,” Hollister told the audience, before giving a brief description of the work a DA’s office does.

“Within the DA’s office we rely heavily on our investigations unit to assure we meet this tremendously important responsibility,” he said.

Last Thursday’s ceremony added Gary McFarland to the investigations team as an investigative assistant, and promoted Jessica Beatley from an investigations specialist to an investigations supervisor.

McFarland has worked in law enforcement for 21 years, with experience as a supervisor, trainer and background investigator in corrections.

“I am excited for Gary to join our team,” Hollister said. “Gary knows the language, he knows the players and he has outstanding insight on the process. His experience, understanding and energy will prove to be a terrific addition to the DA’s office.”

Beatley began working in the DA’s office in 2004. “During her time here, she has demonstrated a level of professionalism, work ethic and skill set that is exemplary,” Hollister said.

Beatley’s promotion came as a surprise to her. She entered the third-floor boardroom in the courthouse thinking she was there just to watch McFarland take the oath of office. But upon entering, she saw her mom and sister, as well as her two daughters, her father-in-law and other friends and family.

“I was so surprised,” Beatley said as she posed with her daughters after the ceremony.

Jessica Beatley receives a surprise promotion and Gary McFarland becomes the newest member of the district attorney’s office Jan. 12.

Hollister listed some of the difficult cases that she has overseen in the past few years including a $1.2 million public corruption case that resulted in a felony conviction, as well as “the crucial and difficult role” of leading trial preparation in a murder case involving a 2-year-old victim.

“Jessica was able to monitor, organize and understand hundreds of hours of statements by the defendant,” he said. “Her efforts turned a good case into a great one and assured justice was served with a murder conviction.”

Hollister stressed the fact that Beatley is the first woman to hold the position of investigations supervisor in Plumas County.

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