California judges' investments, campaign money easier to look up
After a months-long battle with advocates for the judges, the state Fair Political Practices Commission began posting each elected judicial officer's economic interest statement on its website.
The new postings, previously only available by visiting courthouses, had been delayed after the California Judges Assn. raised concerns about the safety of the state's 2,500 judges if information on their investments, including homes and businesses, were made more accessible to the public. The judges initially requested that the statements detailing their investments, real estate holdings and gifts received be kept at state offices for public inspection, to make it harder for people with ill intent to determine where judges and their family members live and work.
The commission is allowing judges to redact information that might jeopardize personal safety, such as home addresses and the location of rental properties occupied by the judges' children.
"A major focus of the FPPC is the disclosure of important information to the public in an accessible way," said Chairwoman Ann Ravel. "We understand that information about a public official's financial interests must be disclosed in a way that is meaningful."
The commission also included a chart showing who is contributing to judges’ elections campaigns.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Superior Court Judge Robert Perry overseeing a trial earlier this year in Los Angeles. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times