Monday, April 2, 2012
James D. Otto
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 78
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James D. Otto has drawn an election challenge from one Kenneth R. Hughey, described on the ballot as a “Retired Criminal Prosecutor.”
Hughey makes no contention that the incumbent is performing shoddily as a jurist—and Otto isn’t.
The challenger’s beef is simply with Otto’s action, as supervising judge in Long Beach, in shifting a friend of Hughey, veteran Judge J.D. Lord, to tasks that used to be performed in municipal court. In light of the budget crisis, a commissioner was given a golden handshake and some judge had to be assigned to the commissioner’s former duties. Lord was picked.
We express no view as whether Otto made the right call or a wrong one. Assuming, for sake of argument, that it was an unwise choice, that goes to Otto’s prowess as an administrator, not a judge.
Otto was respected as an attorney, and is respected as a judge. He should not be put through the ordeal of a contested election.
The challenge is a petty one, and a foolish one. We endorse Otto.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company