Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Alliance Elects Sacramento Judge White President
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Tia Fisher to Serve as Secretary
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Superior Court Judges Tia Fisher of Los Angeles, Steve White of Sacramento, and Kent Hamlin of Fresno have been elected next year’s officers of the Alliance of California Judges.
White will take over as president, Fisher as secretary, and Hamlin as treasurer, the group’s directors said in a letter sent to members and others on Monday. The directors said the outgoing president, Kern Superior Court Judge David Lampe, will continue to serve as an “executive” director to oversee the development of the organization and coordinate its activities.
Fisher, 54, was appointed to the court in 2006 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Last year she was appointed to the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch
Fisher previously served as a court commissioner for six years with the Los Angeles Superior Court and for three years with the now-defunct Santa Anita Municipal Court. Before that she was a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles.
White, 63, is a former inspector general of California’s correctional system and a former Sacramento district attorney. He was appointed to the bench in 2003 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He is also a past executive director of the California District Attorneys Association.
Hamlin, 57, first became a judge in 1999. He is a former member of the California Judges Association and a chairperson of its Criminal Law and Procedure Committee.
The alliance said it would be conducting its first ever statewide educational conference for judges from March 1 through March 3 at the Sheraton in Palo Alto.
Enrollment is open to all California judges of the state, with priority given to enrolled alliance members. The group said a portion of the program will be taught in conjunction with George Mason University, and that it plans “a balanced presentation, including presenters and keynote speakers who will also discuss the new Code of Judicial Ethics.”
Monday’s letter also detailed a series of grievances:
•Central management of the court system through the Administrative Office of the Courts, which the group said “has been the architect of a monumental waste of public funds”;
•Failure of “the existing governance structure of the Judiciary” to give the group “a meaningful voice” in the process of reform, leading the group to conclude that:
“Because there seems to be ‘no room at the Inn’ for our views within existing judicial leadership, we will move forward independently with the Legislative and Executive branches next year to have our views considered. Our experience in achieving last year’s budget trailer bill enacting the major financial provisions of AB 1208 shows that we will be heard”; and
•The “special” treatment AOC central office staff and Judicial Council members give to “legitimate requests for information by the Alliance,” as evidence of which the group points to the council’s newly announced procedures and rules governing how requests from judges will be handled.
“It appears that central staff’s repeated actions of stonewalling and refusing to release public information, as detailed by the State Auditor and the Chief Justice’s Strategic Evaluation Committee, has now been blessed by the Council,” the letter says.
The Alliance of California Judges was formed on Sept. 11, 2009 “to independently advocate and communicate on behalf of judges with the public, media, and Executive and Legislative branches,” according to the organization’s website.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company