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Judicial Misconduct

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2006 | Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writer
For years, Ron Branson toiled in his North Hollywood garage in lonely isolation, repeatedly failing to gather enough signatures to put on California's ballot a constitutional amendment that would make it much easier to investigate, sue and oust judges. Then, last fall, the minister and former prison guard -- who has repeatedly sued the government and who said he once appealed a parking ticket all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- set his sights on a smaller target.
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BUSINESS
March 16, 2006 | Michael Hiltzik
You don't need me to tell you how grand it is to be rich in California. You don't have to care about the condition of public education, because your kids go to private school. You don't have to worry about higher park fees, because you can lock up access to your private beach and hire thugs to run off any riffraff who get near the water. You don't have to do your own gardening, because there are plenty of illegals around to trim your perennials.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2006 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
The complaints about immigration judges were alarming. In San Francisco, a U.S. citizen was wrongly deported to Mexico after a judge failed to verify the authenticity of his birth certificate and tax records -- actions that drew harsh criticism from a federal appeals court. In Chicago, an appellate board found that a political asylum case involving an Albanian citizen was mishandled because the judge relied on testimony from a document expert who did not speak or read Albanian.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2005 | Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles judge who appeared on a television reality show pilot to arbitrate an erotic dancer's claim against a San Diego adult club was removed from the bench Wednesday for ethical breaches. Judge Kevin A. Ross -- the eighth California judge removed since 1995 -- was found to have "marketed himself as a judge in hopes that he then could leave the bench for a more lucrative career in television."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2005 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
Over stinging dissents, a judicial disciplinary council has declined to impose sanctions on a veteran Los Angeles federal jurist who improperly seized control of a bankruptcy case to protect a female probationer he was supervising. U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real's intervention permitted Deborah M. Canter to live rent free for three years in a Highland Avenue house, costing her creditors $35,000 in rent and thousands more in legal costs, according to court documents.
NATIONAL
July 8, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
An Army judge at Ft. Hood refused to step aside for Pfc. Lynndie England's trial on charges of abusing prisoners in Iraq, saying he was not to blame for her botched guilty plea. Col. James Pohl rejected an argument by the defense that he asked inappropriate questions of a witness, Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr., the reputed abuse ringleader.
NATIONAL
January 27, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A judge in Concord who was suspended for groping five women at a conference on sexual assault and domestic violence resigned. "I wish to again express my apologies to those who have been impacted by my inappropriate conduct," Judge Franklin Jones, 56, wrote in a two-page letter to Gov. John Lynch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The state's Commission on Judicial Performance disciplined a Kern County judge Wednesday, saying his decisions in several cases were inappropriate. The commission issued a public admonishment against Superior Court Judge Stephen P. Gilder. Among the panel's findings was that Gilder erroneously told defendants that their pre-preliminary hearing plea offer was the best they were going to get. The admonishment does not come with any fines, and the judge will not be suspended from the bench.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2004 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
Three former tenants on Tuesday sued an Orange County judge who was their landlord, alleging that he refused to make repairs to the property and used his judicial clout to intimidate them. In their legal complaint, Leticia Banuelos and a couple, Michael and Susan DeGrazio, accuse Superior Court Judge John M. Watson of renting them dilapidated units in his La Habra condominium building and then ignoring their repeated pleas for repairs.
WORLD
November 9, 2004 | Hector Tobar, Times Staff Writer
Five days after a bombing at a Jewish cultural center here killed 85 people, the investigating judge on the case rushed to Venezuela after a lead. Upon his return, Judge Juan Jose Galeano bragged to reporters that "when you find out what I've learned, it will knock your socks off." Ten years later, the only men ever arrested and tried in the case -- a car thief and a group of local police officers -- were acquitted and set free. The attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Assn.
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