Thursday, February 7, 2008
Disgraced Ex-Riverside Judge Files Candidacy for Same Job
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
Riverside Superior Court Judge Robert G. Spitzer, who was ordered removed from the bench for misconduct and dishonesty, has filed papers to run for a new term.
Spitzer filed a declaration of intention to run for the position with the Riverside County Registrar of Voters on Tuesday. The seat is up for election June 3, and only one other candidate—Riverside Superior Court Commissioner Robert Nagby—has filed a declaration of intention to run for the position.
The California Commission on Judicial Performance issued an order removing Spitzer on Oct. 2, saying that he had failed to ensure that orders were filed on time, often failed to decide cases within 90 days, filed false salary affidavits, failed to issue orders, engaged in ex parte communication, and gave the appearance of and demonstrated bias. The order prevents Spitzer, who had been a judge since 1990, from acting as a judge or practicing law in California.
However, Spitzer filed a petition for review of the case by the California Supreme Court on Dec. 28, and while he is currently prohibited from performing judicial duties, his removal is not final until that court has acted on the petition.
Spitzer’s filing raises questions about his ability to sit on the court, as well as his future ability to practice law.
If he prevails in the election, and succeeds on his petition before the Supreme Court, he would be eligible to serve in the post. Similarly, if he loses in the election, but prevails on his petition, he would be eligible to serve as a judge in the future or resume practicing law.
If his petition is denied, he would be completely ineligible to serve as a judge, and would be required to apply to the Supreme Court for reinstatement before practicing law again.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company