Thursday, August 4, 2011
CJP Sets Oral Argument for Jurist Accused of Favoritism
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Oral argument regarding possible misconduct by veteran Orange Superior Court Judge Richard Stanford has been scheduled for Sept. 16, the Commission on Judicial Performance has announced.
The special masters assigned to hear the matter in Dept. 70 of the Stanley Mosk courthouse are Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor, First District Court of Appeal Justice Maria Rivera, and Glenn Superior Court Judge Donald C. Byrd.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons has been designated as examiner for the hearing, which is open to the public and set to begin at 10 a.m.
Following completion of this hearing, the special masters must provide the commission with a report containing their findings with respect to the charges by Sept. 26. The parties will have an opportunity to respond to the report through briefing and argument before the commission.
If the commission determines that the charges are proved by clear and convincing evidence, the judge will then be subject to possible removal, censure, or admonishment. Charges that the commission determines are not proved will be dismissed.
Stanford is accused of misusing his office to assist his courtroom clerk, several friends, and his son-in-law in resolving traffic citations.
When the charges were made public in April, Stanford—through his attorney, Paul S. Meyer—admitted that he “gave preferential treatment” in nine traffic cases, going back to 2003.
In his response to the charges, Stanford apologized for his actions and said he did not intend to conceal or deceive, and that he did not dismiss any cases, although some fines or fees were waived.
While admitting that his actions were wrong, the judge denied any malicious intent or that there was any “pattern” of misconduct. There were no similar acts of misconduct during his lengthy judicial career, he said.
Stanford, 64, is an Orange County native and a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where he majored in speech, and of USC Law School.
He was admitted to the State Bar in 1973 and joined the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, where he became a member of the Career Criminal Prosecution Unit before being appointed to the Central Orange County Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1985. Stanford was elevated to the superior court in 1998.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company