Leonard R. Avilla in March 1945 replaced John P. Fitzgerald who died in office. Avilla had been assistant district attorney since 1940. Avilla’s vigorous crime busting activities were aimed towards suppression of vice and gambling in Santa Clara County. He advocated the use of wiretaps and other advanced technology to obtain evidence and to solve crimes. Within two (2) years of his appointment as District Attorney, Avilla was appointed to the Superior Court Bench by Governor Earl Warren.