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Judicial Misconduct

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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
September 9, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Prosecutors said the judge in the second death-penalty case of convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad should remove himself from the case because he improperly conducted his own inquiry into a pretrial dispute. The motion filed by Fairfax County prosecutors alleges that Judge Jonathan Thacher improperly interviewed witnesses and obtained documents that are key to a defense motion seeking to dismiss the case on the grounds that Muhammad's right to a speedy trial was violated.
May 26, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
An alcoholic judge was kicked off the bench in New Orleans for repeatedly being drunk in court. District Judge Monty L. Doggett issued arrest warrants when he was too drunk to read them, was sometimes so intoxicated that court had to be canceled and once had to be carried out of his courtroom by deputies, the Louisiana Supreme Court said in its unanimous ruling.
May 26, 2004 | From Times Wire Services
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has named a high-level panel to investigate the federal courts' handling of judicial misconduct, court officials said Tuesday. Rehnquist named the committee with a statement that acknowledged criticism by Congress of judicial handling of ethics issues. Justice Stephen G. Breyer will chair the panel, according to a statement published this week in the newsletter of the federal courts. The committee will hold its first meeting next month in Washington.
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