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Judicial Commission Accuses Judge of Drug Dependence

January 13, 1998

The presiding judge of Antelope Municipal Court in Lancaster has been charged with misconduct for an alleged dependence on prescription narcotics that began when she took office three years ago and led to "bizarre conduct" on the bench, state officials confirmed Monday.

The California Commission on Judicial Performance, which has the power to remove judges, has accused Judge Pamela Rogers of using Demerol, morphine and other drugs from January 1995 until at least April 1997 and alleged that their effects were evident in the courtroom.

In a notice of formal proceedings, the commission said Rogers appeared to speak to an empty witness stand, slurred her speech, rambled, was emotionally unstable, had poor short-term memory, was rude and missed work often.

Rogers also was accused of failing to decide issues in seven cases within the statutory maximum of 90 days.

Rogers' lawyer said the proceedings are an attempt by some defense lawyers and possibly a judge who want to get her off the bench.

"There are several people there who dislike her and want to get rid of her," San Francisco defense attorney Ephraim Margolin said.

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