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Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz was born at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas. He is the second child of a career pilot in the United States Air Force, Major Robert F. Keitz, and his wife Mary. Michael also lived in Michigan, Louisiana and England before his family settled in Salinas, California. There, Michael was first exposed to agriculture by his grandparents; who operated a farm and pre-cooling plant for fresh produce in the Watsonville area. His first jobs included picking lettuce on farms and assisting large animal veterinarians working with cattle and horses on ranches in the Central Coast region. Michael credits his parents with instilling in him a strong work ethic, leadership, the personal values of honesty and integrity, and a devotion to public service.
Michael graduated from Palma High School in Salinas, California, and from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. He moved to Madera in 1979 to begin a career in banking. He worked for Bank of America for thirteen years in various assignments related to agricultural lending and management.
His first call to public service came shortly after Michael moved to Madera. A friend suggested his free time could be put to good use by serving the community as a volunteer for the Madera County Sheriff’s department. Michael agreed and became a reserve deputy, serving the department for 19 years. His years as a reserve deputy resulted in a staunch dedication to law enforcement, and eventually led him to pursue it as a second career.
While still working days as a banker, and volunteering as a reserve deputy, Michael attended law school in the evening at the San Joaquin College of Law in Fresno, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in 1991. He entered the Madera County District Attorney’s Office in 1992. There, he served in various assignments including prosecution of narcotics, agricultural, and major crimes. Michael quickly earned the reputation of a determined and passionate advocate for the citizens of Madera County, and as a “tough on crime”, no-nonsense prosecutor. During his 16 year tenure as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecutor Keitz conducted 78 jury trials with a successful conviction rate of 89%. Michael took the oath of office as Madera County’s District Attorney on January 5, 2009.
Michael and his wife Mary have been married for 28 years.
They live in Madera and have one son. Michael plays an active
volunteer role, supporting youth through community organizations and his
church. He is an Assistant
Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, serves as a judge for Moot
Court and academic decathlon competitions; serves as a trustee for the
Madera County Law Library, and is a member of Kiwanis International.
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