Rogers Denies Calling Her Superior Court Election Opponent an 'Alcoholic'
By a Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Pamela Rogers has denied accusing one of her election opponents of being inebriated in court on multiple occasions, according to a newspaper account.
The Antelope Valley Press, in a story scheduled to appear in this past Saturday's edition, quoted Rogers as saying that Palmdale attorney William Clark appeared to have consumed alcohol before appearing in court on a single occasion in 1997.
Rogers told the MetNews, which reported her comments on Jan. 24, that Clark was an "alcoholic" and that his intoxication after lunch is "real obvious." As a deputy district attorney prior to her election to the bench six years ago, Rogers said, she was "at some of those lunches" at which Clark was drinking heavily.
"I recall being personally amazed the guy could still walk," she commented, adding that he appeared intoxicated at "prelims in the afternoon" in her courtroom.
But in talking to her hometown newspaper, Rogers said the MetNews story "was very distorted" and "went way beyond the remarks I made."
She told the Valley Press that in a single instance, at a 1997 hearing, Clark "was not slurring his words" but had a "reddened face" and "was more boisterous." She took no action, she said, because there was no indication the lawyer was "unable to proceed in a competent manner."
MetNews Editor Roger M. Grace, author of the Jan. 24 story, stood by the accuracy of the account of Rogers' remarks.
He told the Valley Press:
"She did not say it was in 1997, she did not specify the year, and she did specify it was on various occasions....There is no question in my mind or in my notes."
Grace added that Rogers' accusations were not substantiated by other judges contacted by the MetNews.
Clark, the Valley Press reported, accused Rogers' supporters of raising false allegations about his alcohol use in order to influence the outcome of the Los Angeles County Bar Association evaluations. The committee, after tentatively rating Clark "not qualified," raised that to "qualified" after an appeal.
Rogers and Layton were also rated qualified.
Copyright Metropolitan News Company, 2000