OC judge accused of fixing tickets for family, friends, and his minister

Richard Stanford, a judge in Orange County Superior Court since 1998, has been accused of helping out his buddies, family, co-workers, and even his minister in court.

From L.A. Now at the Los Angeles Times:

At issue is whether Stanford violated ethics rules by first having the traffic citations transferred to his courtroom and then granting special favors such as waiving fines without following proper courtroom rules.

The complaint from the Commission on Judicial Performance formally documents nine allegations of misconduct from 2003 to 2010.

Typical is a case involving Edwin Jay Williams, who the commission says is the pastor of the Fullerton church Stanford’s family attends, and the judge’s friend.

In 2003, Williams was given a traffic ticket for running a red light. The complaint notes that Stanford and Williams discussed the matter. Then, although “the case would not have come before you in the ordinary course of judicial business, you transferred the matter to your department,” the commission wrote.

Makes you wonder how he figured he’d not get caught. Stanford didn’t deny the allegations. He just said that he was doing the county a favor by speeding up justice. Hmmm.

Although “no tickets were dismissed, and only discretionary fines and fees were waived, Judge Stanford now clearly realizes that in these nine traffic infractions in the last 10 years he gave preferential treatment which violated the standards of conduct,” according to the statement released by attorney Paul Meyer.

The statement said the judge “wrongly rationalized” that his actions “were saving time for the court and resulted in the same [Department of Motor Vehicle] records as if the people had come to court.”

I need to follow this one.

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