Friday, December 28, 2012
Ex-Judge Patrick Murphy Arrested for Domestic Violence
By JACKIE FUCHS, Staff Writer
Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick B. Murphy was arrested at his Alhambra home yesterday on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence.
An Alhambra Police Department spokesperson said Murphy, 57, was taken into custody at 12:14 p.m. and was released on bail later in the afternoon.
The spokesperson declined to provide details of the incident or the name of the person filing the complaint, but a source who knows the former jurist said the victim was his current wife. Murphy is believed to be divorced from attorney Susan Sweetman-Murphy, who has not been an active member of the State Bar since 2007, according to records.
The source said a temporary restraining order was issued yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court as a result of the incident, but that could not be immediately confirmed with the court.
If convicted, Murphy faces a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year for violation of Penal Code Sec. 243(e)(i).
Murphy resigned as judge in May 2001, just as the Commission on Judicial Performance was preparing to oust him from office. The commission later found that Murphy had engaged in “a reprehensible course of conduct,” which showed moral turpitude and dishonesty.
As Murphy had technically resigned before the commission was able to remove him from office, however, the harshest penalty the commission could impose was public censure, which left Murphy free to return to the practice of law.
Among the acts cited by the commission in its decision were Murphy remaining on the payroll of the state as a full-time, sitting judge, while missing some 500 days of work over a four-year and lying about it to his presiding judge.
Murphy cited reasons as diverse as cardiac and stress-related problems for his absences, and at one point claimed that a “phobia” of the court had left him unfit to resume his duties on the bench.
The commission rejected the claims, finding that during the time he was supposedly sick, Murphy, who was a registered nurse before and during his attendance at Southwestern Law School, taught one or two night law school and police department classes a week, testified at depositions, attended classes and labs, completed pre-med physics and chemistry courses at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, and attended classes at Ross University School of Medicine on the Island of Dominica in the West Indies.
After leaving the bench Murphy returned briefly to legal practice, until the State Bar in 2002 accused him of “moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption,” based on the same acts for which he was censured by the CJP. In 2004 the State Bar Court disbarred the former judge, saying that he did not possess “the integrity required to exercise the privilege of practicing law,” and concluding that taking away Murphy’s license was the only way to guarantee that the public and the courts would be protected from his “wanton wrongdoing.”
Murphy was first admitted to practice law in California in December 1984. After his first several years of legal practice, he became the administrator and corporate counsel of a medical group.
He was elected to the now-defunct Citrus Municipal Court in June 1992, unseating incumbent Abe Khan. Khan is now a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Murphy lost an unusually vitriolic Superior Court contest to Karl Jaeger, now-deceased, in 1996. He remained on the Citrus court and served as its presiding judge in 1997.
He became a Superior Court judge through unification in 2000.
Murphy did not respond to a MetNews email requesting comment on his arrest.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company