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Ex-Judge Sues to Recover Legal Fees From County

March 30, 2000

VENTURA — Former Superior Court Judge Robert Bradley is suing Ventura County for $72,000 in legal costs incurred during his fight with the state Commission on Judicial Performance, which removed him from the bench after a series of alcohol-related arrests.

Kirk Watson, the county's attorney, said the legal fees are not the county's responsibility because "the action which brought him before the commission in the first place did not occur in the scope of his employment as a judge."

Bradley was removed from the bench in 1999 after a string of alcohol-related incidents, including two drunken driving arrests and showing up to work under the influence. His most recent arrest was last week for allegedly prowling on his Ventura neighbor's property while intoxicated.

He filed his lawsuit against the county in August. The trial was moved to Santa Barbara County to avoid a conflict of interest.

A Superior Court judge heard testimony in the case Tuesday during a hearing to determine whether Bradley should be awarded the amount without going to trial. A decision on the matter will be issued soon, Watson said.

Paul Mahoney, Bradley's attorney who billed his client $275 per hour, did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Supervisor John Flynn said he disagreed with Bradley's attempt to recoup his legal costs.

"That is not a good request on his part because his personal problems are not related to his work and therefore neither are the legal costs."

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