Gina Johnson appointed Interim Chief Probation Officer for the Ventura County Probation Agency


VENTURA, Calif. – Today, County Executive Officer, Dr. Sevet Johnson announced the appointment of Chief Deputy Probation Officer Gina Johnson to the position of Interim Chief Probation Officer, effective January 29, 2023. Chief Deputy Johnson will serve in this role while the County of Ventura continues its search for the permanent Chief Probation Officer. Chief Deputy Johnson succeeds Chief Probation Officer Mark Varela who is retiring from County service on January 28 after 34 years of service, the last 13 of which he served as Chief Probation Officer for the Agency.

“We look forward to welcoming Interim Chief Probation Officer Gina Johnson to this important leadership position for the Probation Agency and I want to thank her for being willing to serve during this time of transition,” said Dr. Sevet Johnson. “We thank Chief Varela for his many years of thoughtful leadership and dedicated work at the Probation Agency and within the community. We wish him all the best in retirement and look forward to working with Interim Chief Johnson.”

Chief Deputy Johnson began her career with the Probation Agency in 1991 as a Deputy Probation Officer. She worked her way up the agency’s ranks to her current position of Chief Deputy Probation Officer in 2013. Chief Deputy Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience into her new role having worked in many assignments throughout the agency including court services, community supervision, adult & juvenile detention/commitment facilities, and administration. She will inherit an agency of over 400 staff members and an operating budget of approximately $80 million.

“Chief Deputy Johnson has been with the Probation Agency for over 30 years,” said Chief Probation Officer Mark Varela. “She is a proven leader with many years of management and administrative experience. I have complete confidence in her ability to lead the agency while the County continues its search for a permanent Chief Probation Officer.”

The Ventura County Probation Agency is responsible for the community supervision of adults and youth on probation, the operation of the county’s youth detention facility, and the oversight of a variety of community-based programs aimed to rehabilitate participants and reduce recidivism. Chief Deputy Johnson will inherit an agency of over 400 peace officer and civilian staff members and an operating budget of close to $80 million.