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Judge Cleared of Drug Use Charges

September 12, 2000|ZANTO PEABODY

The state Commission on Judicial Performance dismissed charges against a Lancaster judge accused of using prescription drugs during court proceedings, but urged her to make rulings more quickly.

Antelope Municipal Judge Pamela Rogers, a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, was accused in 1998 of being under the influence of drugs while on the bench, at times appearing to speak to an empty witness stand, slurring her speech and often missing work.

She was allowed to keep her post, but she had been required to submit periodic reports telling the commission what prescription medications she was taking.

Under Monday's ruling, she no longer has to file the medical reports.

Rogers' attorney, Ephraim Margolin of San Francisco, said Monday that Rogers took medicine in 1997 for a postpartum illness and migraine headaches, but that it did not affect her work on the bench.

"The commission had a question about health," said Margolin, who added that the order for Rogers to divulge personal medical information was a rare request. "The question was resolved by proving there was no problem. I've represented in excess of 130 judges, and I can tell you there was no real reason to go after her."

The commission also publicly advised Rogers to rule on cases within 90 days. She had taken more than three months to rule on seven separate cases.

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