Peter Szabadi, attorney, photographer and artist, is the newest appointee to the County Service Area 36 Advisory committee. He will be sworn in at the Thursday, April 27, meeting at Town Hall. Photo by Marshall Smith

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors appointed retired attorney Peter Szabadi to the County Service Area 36 Advisory Committee at its Tuesday, April 11, board meeting.

Szabadi, who also serves on the boards of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild and the Idyllwild Water District, said his interest in serving on the CSA 36 Advisory Committee is to better understand how the town is evolving and to get a sense of what district residents want from their recreation program. Szabadi, who is married to well-known actress Michèle Marsh, has been a full-time Idyllwild resident since 2013.

A native of Budapest, Hungary, Szabadi was 2 when the Nazis occupied his country. Several family members survived the Holocaust. In 1956, Szabadi and his brother fled Hungary when the USSR invaded and occupied Budapest and other regions of the country following a nationwide uprising against Soviet-imposed policies. Szabadi and his brother were part of an exodus of more than 200,000 Hungarians who fled during the conflict.

Eight years after arriving in the U.S., Szabadi received his bachelor’s degree from City College of New York in 1964, and three years later his juris doctor from New York Law School. Evincing his broad range of intellectual interests, Szabadi received a second bachelor’s degree, this one in archaeology, from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975.

His introduction to the Hill area came in the 1970s when his father, wanting to be a farmer, had a house in Anza. “I came up in the summers for four or five years,” he remembered.

Through much of his legal career, Szabadi focused on labor and civil rights law, mostly on behalf of plaintiffs. While practicing law, Szabadi was a member of the bars of the New York, California, the Supreme Court of the U.S., the Second and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the New York, California and District of Columbia court bars.

Once retired, Szabadi devoted his time to another of his passions, photography. As photographer, Szabadi has shot for the Dinah Shore Weekend, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jazz in the Pines in Idyllwild and the Idyllwild Town Crier. He has mounted gallery shows of his photographs in Los Angeles and Idyllwild.

The Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at Town Hall. Szabadi will be sworn in at the meeting. He was appointed to fill an existing vacancy and his term runs through June 30, 2018.

Community members are invited to attend. The Advisory Committee is tasked by the Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington to solicit input from district residents on recreation desires.