Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Judge Fires Commissioner From Santa Anita Court

May 18, 1986|SUE AVERY | Times Staff Writer

MONROVIA — Commissioner Michael Bess has been fired from the Santa Anita Municipal Court by Judge S. Clark Moore.

Moore, who presides over the court and appointed Deputy Dist. Atty. Bruce Marrs to replace Bess, would not comment.

But a court employee, a former court employee and a lawyer who has practiced in the court, all of whom asked not to be identified, said that the manner in which Bess treated the public had created problems.

"His treatment of people was less than congenial," the attorney said. "He is a competent attorney but his primary dealings were with the general public in traffic and small claims and he couldn't deal with them on a fair and equitable basis."

Bess was in private law practice before being appointed to the $65,000-a-year commissioner's job in February, 1984, by former Municipal Judge John Saunders. Bess, 40, presided primarily over civil cases but occasionally handled criminal preliminary hearings. He said he did not know what had brought about his dismissal.

"Moore just said my services would no longer be required beyond May 30," Bess said. "He didn't explain, but since a commissioner works at the pleasure of the presiding judge, he (the judge) can do what he wants. If I had seen this coming I would have resigned. I had no idea that anything was wrong."

The court, which is in Monrovia, also serves Arcadia, Bradbury and Duarte. It has one judge and two commissioners; the second commissioner is Kirkland Nyby. Marrs, 42, who has been assigned to the court as a prosecutor since August, 1983, has not yet been replaced by the district attorney's office.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|