News

Commission orders Contra Costa County judge removed from bench for misconduct

Decision cites Laettner's remarks to women in courtroom; he plans to appeal

A state judicial commission in San Francisco on Wednesday ordered Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John Laettner removed from office for multiple instances of misconduct.

The misconduct included a number of offensive remarks toward women in the courtroom, including telling a deputy public defender, "Your parents hadn't spanked you enough" and telling a court reporter, "You're hot," according to the 76-page ruling by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

Other misconduct included also denying due process to a defendant in a bail proceeding and having an improper private conversation with a prosecutor, the commission said.

Removal from office is the strongest administrative punishment the commission can give. The panel said a factor in its decision was Laettner's "lack of candor" during a disciplinary hearing before a panel of three judges, who found that some of Laettner's explanations were not credible.

In all, the commission found that Laettner engaged in five instances of willful misconduct, meaning acting in bad faith or knowingly exceeding judicial authority, and 11 acts of prejudicial misconduct, meaning conduct that harms public esteem for the judiciary.

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The removal order can be appealed to the California Supreme Court. Laettner's attorney, James Murphy, said he planned to do so.

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— Bay City News Service

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Commission orders Contra Costa County judge removed from bench for misconduct

Decision cites Laettner's remarks to women in courtroom; he plans to appeal

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 6, 2019, 4:34 pm

A state judicial commission in San Francisco on Wednesday ordered Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John Laettner removed from office for multiple instances of misconduct.

The misconduct included a number of offensive remarks toward women in the courtroom, including telling a deputy public defender, "Your parents hadn't spanked you enough" and telling a court reporter, "You're hot," according to the 76-page ruling by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

Other misconduct included also denying due process to a defendant in a bail proceeding and having an improper private conversation with a prosecutor, the commission said.

Removal from office is the strongest administrative punishment the commission can give. The panel said a factor in its decision was Laettner's "lack of candor" during a disciplinary hearing before a panel of three judges, who found that some of Laettner's explanations were not credible.

In all, the commission found that Laettner engaged in five instances of willful misconduct, meaning acting in bad faith or knowingly exceeding judicial authority, and 11 acts of prejudicial misconduct, meaning conduct that harms public esteem for the judiciary.

The removal order can be appealed to the California Supreme Court. Laettner's attorney, James Murphy, said he planned to do so.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Malcolm Hex
San Ramon
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:46 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:46 am
3 people like this

A court is in session
A verdict is in
No appeal on the docket today
Just my own sin.

-Creed


Wade
another community
on Nov 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm
Wade , another community
on Nov 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm
Like this comment

They should remove every judge that violates their oath of office and the constitution


Nick
San Ramon
on Dec 1, 2019 at 10:40 am
Nick, San Ramon
on Dec 1, 2019 at 10:40 am
Like this comment

He should've been removed a long time ago. He's pathetic.


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