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Orange County

Let Kline Quit Race, Lawyer Urges

April 13, 2002|JACK LEONARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A lawyer who launched a write-in campaign against an Orange County judge accused of child molestation filed court papers this week supporting the jurist's bid to withdraw from the upcoming runoff election.

Attorney Gay Sandoval, the runner-up among write-in candidates in the March 5 primary, argued in the court filing that voters will be hurt unless Judge Ronald C. Kline is allowed to drop his reelection bid.

"It is unfair to the voters to have on the ballot the name of a candidate who does not plan to serve, even if elected," Sandoval wrote.

The attorney also argued that if Kline is allowed to drop out, the Nov. 5 election should feature the two highest voter getters among write-in candidates. That would include Dana Point attorney John Adams, who won the election, and Sandoval herself.

A Los Angeles County judge is scheduled to decide the matter April 24.

Authorities say more than 1,500 computer images of young boys were found at Kline's home, including nude and "hard-core" photographs of children having sex.

Kline, 61, sat on the Orange County bench for six years until criminal charges were filed against him last year. He continues to receive his $136,244 annual salary as a judge, but a federal court placed him under house arrest, saying he poses a threat to children.

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