Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Page 3


Bascue Reassigns Several Bench Officers to Make Up for Lost Referees


By ROBERT GREENE, Staff Writer


Several Los Angeles Superior Court judges have been ordered to new assignments Nov. 1 to fill gaps left by the layoff of eight referees, setting off a chain reaction of reassignments.

Presiding Judge James Bascue on Friday assigned Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr., a former UCLA law professor with experience as a federal prosecutor and expertise in antitrust, intellectual property and criminal law, to the Mental Health Court. Wiley will succeed Referee Laura Hymowitz, who currently sits in Mental Health but is due to lose her post at the end of the month in the courtís effort to eliminate a $57 million budget deficit.

Gov. Gray Davis appointed Wiley to the bench in August.

The Compton courthouse, which is due to lose Referees Joel Wallenstein and Bruce Toomer, will get Commissioners Diana Summerhayes and Donna Groman.

Judge Mark A. Juhas, a former civil litigator appointed the same day as Wiley, was assigned to the North District, which will lose four referees at the end of the month. Moving to the Antelope Valley along with Juhas are Judge Alan S. Rosenfield and Commissioner Victor Reichman, both of whom will leave their current assignments in Newhall.

The court is laying off Ross Amspoker and Ron Taylor in the North Districtís Palmdale courthouse and Robyn Kesler and David Bianchi in Lancaster.

The move to the Antelope Valley is a return for Reichman, who served for more than 15 years in Lancaster but has since seen duty in a number of courthouses around the county.

With Rosenfield and Reichman leaving Newhall, Judge Lloyd Nash will move in from Van Nuys. Nash may be best known as the judge who recently denied actor Robert Blakeís request for bail after the state Supreme Court ordered the issue to be considered. Blake is in jail awaiting trial on charges that he murdered his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley.

Meanwhile, Judge Randy Rhodes will move to Van Nuys, leaving his Glendale courtroom open for Judge Patrick Hegarty.

Hegarty is one of two bench officers whom Bascue is pulling from the tiny Monrovia courthouse. Commissioner Preciliano Recendez will move west to Pasadena.

Court officials have proposed closing the lockup facility in Monrovia, saying the few felony and violent misdemeanor matters heard there could be handled more efficiently at courthouses with a larger number of such cases.

Judge C. Edward Simpson, meanwhile, will leave Pasadena to join Hegarty in Glendale.

In other assignments, Judge Steven Kleifield, appointed with Wiley and Juhas, will move from the Airport Courthouse to the Southeast District, which takes in courthouses in Norwalk, Huntington Park, Downey, Bellflower, South Gate and Whittier. Kleifieldís reassignment becomes effective next week.

Commissioner Mark Zuckman, who was sworn in Friday, was assigned to Kleifieldís Airport Courthouse post.

Judge John Harris moves from Van Nuys to Central Criminal.

No assignment has yet been announced to replace Referee Robert Clinco, who will be laid off from his East Los Angeles post Nov. 1 along with the other seven referees.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company