Monday, October 17, 2016
CJP Charges ‘Birther’ Judge Gary Kreep With Multiple Misconduct Counts
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A former conservative activist, now a San Diego Superior Court judge, has been charged with multiple misconduct counts by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the CJP said Friday.
The CJP alleged in a notice of formal proceedings that Judge Gary Kreep continued to engage in partisan political activity after becoming a judicial candidate; violated campaign finance laws; practiced law after becoming a judge; made racist, sexist, crude, and demeaning remarks in court; and improperly asked a prosecutor to have a police officer investigate an allegation made in a civil case.
The commission also accused Kreep of creating an appearance that he prejudged a case; improperly asked lawyers to express opinions in open court on cases other than their own; and committed other procedural improprieties.
Kreep’s 2012 election victory over veteran prosecutor Garland Peed drew national attention because of his history as a conservative activist who challenged the constitutionality of Barack Obama’s presidency by claiming he is not a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution. Kreep was also attorney for the anti-immigration group the Minutemen.
His political activities form the basis of several of the commission’s charges. The CJP alleges that he falsely stated in a campaign biography that he was the president of the Family Values Coalition, that he continued to head two political action committees that supported or opposed nonjudicial candidates after he became a judicial candidate, that he filed a false financial disclosure claiming he had chaired the “Beat Obama Political Action Committee,” and that he fundraised on behalf of his anti-Obama United States Justice Foundation as a judicial candidate and as a judge-elect.
The commission also reiterated allegations that Kreep admitted to in a settlement with the Fair Political Practices Commission—that he spent more than $40,000 from his personal bank account, rather than his campaign account, and failed to disclose more than $8,000 in campaign expenses.
Kreep’s controversies continued after he took the bench. He was transferred out of criminal court in 2013 after prosecutors said they would blanket-affidavit him.
His courtroom misconduct, the commission alleges, included saying during a discussion of pronunciation, that he once “had a Filipino teacher who always used to ask for a s—of paper.”
He is also accused of:
•Commenting on a deputy public defender’s Mexican accent and asking about her nationality, and when she pointed out she was “a U.S. citizen and proud of it,” responding “I wasn’t planning on having you deported.”
•Calling public defender interns “Bunhead,” “Dimples,” and “Shorty,” and regularly calling a deputy city attorney—a black female—“Star,” after asking her if she knew Star Parker, a conservative media personality who is African-American.
•Referring to female lawyers by such terms as “a pretty girl,” and a “lovely young lady,” in the course of proceedings;
•Commented about the attractiveness of a deputy public defender, in front of her client, a female charged with prostitution;
•Urging a defense attorney to hurry an arraignment so the pregnant prosecutor could “go home and have her baby”;
•While discussing a prostitution case with a defense attorney, commenting, “Speaking of prostitution, here’s Ms. Westfall,” a reference to the prosecutor entering the courtroom;
•Threatening that he would kick a prosecutor “in the butt” if she were late to court, telling defense counsel his client was “no virgin,” and suggesting that the mother of a drug defendant “slap him up the head” if he used drugs again; and
•Repeatedly using Spanish phrases such as “buenos dias,” “Vaya con Dios,” and “buenas tardes” to address lawyers and others in court if he thought they were Spanish-speaking.
Kreep is represented by San Francisco attorney James Murphy. His answer to the charges is due Oct. 27.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company