The state agency that disciplines judges convened a hearing Monday to consider action against a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge who was convicted of drunk driving and later accused of campaign-law violations.
At a proceeding called by the Commission on Judicial Performance, Judge Diana R. Hall said she expressed remorse over driving near her Santa Ynez Valley home with a blood-alcohol level of 0.18% -- more than twice the legal limit. The incident, before Christmas 2002, occurred after Hall had an angry confrontation with Deidra Dykeman, her domestic partner at the time.
When asked about accusations that she broke campaign finance laws by failing to disclose a $20,000 loan from Dykeman for her 2002 campaign, Hall said that she did not want the source of the loan known because it would have raised questions about her sexual orientation.
Northern Santa Barbara County is "extremely conservative," said Hall, who hears cases in Santa Maria. "I knew this was something that would make my job more difficult on a day-to-day basis."