Thursday, May 13, 2004
Santa Clara Judge Suspended Without Pay in Wake of Ticket-Fixing Conviction
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Santa Clara Superior Court judge, convicted last month of fixing tickets for friends, relatives and sports figures, was suspended from the bench without pay by the state Supreme Court yesterday.
The suspension of Judge William Danser was constitutionally required after a Superior Court jury found him guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice and other offenses. The suspension will remain in effect until the appellate process is completed; if the conviction is upheld, the judge’s permanent removal from office is automatic.
Danser, who has been on mandatory paid leave since his indictment last fall, faces a separate disciplinary proceeding initiated by the Commission on Judicial Performance based on the same pattern of conduct. A hearing in that case is set for July 19 in San Jose.
Danser was indicted in September for improperly dismissing traffic tickets for more than a dozen people, including the an executive of the San Jose Sharks, a Sharks player, a forward for the San Jose Earthquakes, his children’s schoolteacher and a staff member’s father. He was also accused of improperly transferring two drunken-driving cases to his courtroom.
Danser claimed he was duped into dismissing the tickets by Randy Bishop, a former Los Gatos Police detective who pled no contest to the charges.
The jurist was a prosecutor and later a labor and employment lawyer in the area before his appointment to the Santa Clara County Municipal Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1995. He became a Superior Court judge through unification in 1998.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company