Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Page 3


Commissioner Richardson  Retires After 20 Years


By a MetNews Staff Writer


After 20 years of service, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Gerald T. Richardson has retired at the age of 63.

A court official said his retirement was effective as of May 31, and could not confirm whether his seat would be converted to a judgeship or filled by the court. 

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Tim Murphy, a friend of Richardson’s from when they were both working at Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office in the late 1980’s ,said that he had been under the impression that Richardson had retired “a long time ago.” Murphy said that he had heard Richardson had moved somewhere on the East Coast and was “resting,” following some tragic family events.

Court officials declined to comment, and Richardson could not be reached. Another person who knows Richardson but asked to remain anonymous said the commissioner, who had been on long-term sick leave, was involuntarily retired after failing to act on his retirement options.

Richardson was elected Municipal Court commissioner in 1988 and was elevated to the Superior Court following unification in 2000. He previously served for six years as a Los Angeles County deputy public defender, and after spending three years as a solo practitioner. 

In 1992, Richardson made an unsuccessful bid for judgeship, despite receiving a well-qualified rating from the Los angeles County Bar Association, running against then-retired Commissioner John Ladner and then-Deputy City Attorney Stephanie Sautner. Sautner won the election and remains a Superior Court judge.

The former computer programmer bypassed college with an equivalency exam and went straight to law school. He served as student body president during his third year of school at  Woodland University Mid Valley College of Law (now the University of West Los Angeles School of Law) and graduated in 1978.

Richardson married his high-school sweetheart, Deputy Public Defender Karen M. Richardson, in 1967.


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