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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Judge Refuses to Step Aside in Grand Jury Challenge

May 03, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Superior Court Judge William F. Fahey on Tuesday refused to recuse himself from deciding a legal challenge against the grand jury, which allegedly excludes Latinos and other minorities.

In the process, Fahey fined the defense attorney seeking his removal, Charles L. Lindner, $100 for being late to court. He also dismissed Lindner's grand jury challenge, Lindner said in a phone interview.

Lindner raised the challenge in a criminal case in which he is defending a Latina accused of being part of an automobile fraud ring. He is seeking dismissal of the grand jury indictment, saying minorities have been systematically excluded from the panel for three decades.

He also sought to disqualify Fahey because, as a Superior Court judge, he can nominate people to serve on the grand jury. Fahey once before refused to remove himself.

Lindner said he will return to Fahey's courtroom Friday to ask the judge to reconsider the dismissal of his grand jury challenge.

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