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Judge, two others, indicted in alleged campaign scheme [Updated]

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has been indicted on charges of trying to bribe his opponent in a 2008 election campaign, a spokesman for state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said Thursday evening.

Judge Harvey A. Silberman and two political consultants are accused of trying to induce Deputy Dist. Atty. Serena Murillo not to run against him in the June 2008 election — apparently unsuccessfully, because she did run, losing by a margin of 53% to 47%. The three are accused of two counts each of solicitation. The charges were filed June 24, but Brown spokesman Scott Gerber said they were only unsealed Thursday.

Gerber said the two political consultants, A. Randall Steinberg and Evelyn Jerome Alexander of SJA Strategies, pleaded not guilty, and Silberman’s plea was postponed until a judge could be designated from another county to hear the case. All three were released on $20,000 bond.

Steve Meister, an attorney for Steinberg, said he couldn’t comment on the substance of the case but described his client as “a person of excellent character and high morals” who would be vindicated. Larry Bakman, a lawyer for Alexander, said his client had no comment except to express "her hope to resolve this through the trial process." He added that her defense would rest in part on raising "doubts regarding both the reliability and credibility of the prosecution's witnesses," including Murillo.

Neither Silberman nor his attorney could be reached for comment. Murillo declined to comment.

Gerber said he didn't know the details of the alleged scheme or what Murillo was alleged to have been offered. Before his election to Superior Court, Silberman served as a family court commissioner for four years and previously practiced public interest law, according to his campaign biography.

--Mitchell Landsberg

[Updated at 9:49 p.m.:Daniel Nixon, a lawyer for Silberman, said late Thursday that the judge "is appalled and outraged by these charges. He has done nothing wrong. He is absolutely innocent, and he is going to fight these charges with all of his might."

Nixon added that Silberman had cooperated fully with investigators, including an investigation by the district attorney's office that began well before the 2008 election.]

Comments () | Archives (5)

Judge Silberman is a highly ethical Judge, very knowledgable, with high standards and a compassionate courtroom demeanor--one of our best in family law, particularly for children. I do not believe these allegations against him. Prior to this time, he served selflessly in assisting the downtrodden for years. He cares about the best interests of children, and listens more than many judges to the parties to insure a fair outcome.

In Family Law, we run across the full spectrum of parties, who sometimes don't like being accountable for their actions, are mentally unstable, and are not happy with the outcomes.
The same could be true of supporters in elections.

I believe Judge Silberman must have stepped on someone's toes by adminstering justice for this to happen, with that person having connections with people in power. Knowing of his character, I also know he would not do this.

Hopefully there will be just consequences for the accuser. It is shameful to tarnish this just man's character.

Gee, how much did he pay you to say that???

Harvey Silberman is a fraud as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve noticed people speak either too highly or just neutral of him - But I’m sure that’s purely political.

I am not a Silberman Supporter!

It is within my knowledge base that Silberman regularly abused his position on the bench and has hurt many children in the process. I've noticed, he is not pro child, but pro child’s attorney instead. He allows children to be continually abused, and left in harmful situations; to further line the pockets of his friends (the child’s attorney), who is there (supposedly) in place, to protect the children’s best interest.

I can only say, my children were for years exposed to lewd and lascivious behavior, and “repeatedly raped” by many different men, under Silberman’s jurisdiction. Harvey Silberman “knowingly” stood by and allowed it. My children were forced to endure years of disgusting criminally negligent behavior, and are still suffering the consequences of Silberman's biased decision making.

I believe it would be in the best interest of ALL children, if Harvey Silberman were not only found guilty of his current criminal impropriety, but be exposed for his countless others.

It is clear that Harvey Silberman not only has no concern for the fair and just treatment of children, but has no respect or concern for women.
After a 26 yr. marriage, four years post dissolution, under Siberman's juristiction, and three OSC motions initiated by my x-spouse within those four short years, Silberman was instrumental in forcing me to enter into a settlement of $37,000.00, to forever terminate any future support, which "he" negociated in his Chambers. (I had lost my home and minimal paying job, and spousal support was several months in arrears)I was destitue, homeless and desperate. Silberman stated my X wasn't going to pay,and I would continue to be back in court, so I better take this deal!
I was always a stay at home mom, with no ability to support myself, although I did everything I could to acheive that, (as a matter of survival),in this economy, and at my age, with no money for education, that proved unsuccessful. Having been left with all the marital debt, with no ability to pay, my x-spouse's business back taxes, and over $30,000.00 borrowed for legal fees, Silberman continually granted every motion entered by my x-spouse, and REFUSED to enforce his own court ordered support, and stated he would not!!
My X is self employed and claimed poverty immediatedly after our separation, stoped using a bank account, and could not document his claims. (Funneled all money through the girlfriend he is completely supporting's, bank account).
Silberman indicated he was not going to order support beyond the next three years, as my X might want to "retire", and he never orders support after retirement!! WHAT!!! When do I retire? I raised four children!! And helped him grow the business he and his girlfriend now benefit from. As to lifestyle, during our marriage, $37,000.00 would have barely lasted 3 months. We lived in a five bdrm, five bath home in the hills. Our Children all attended private school, etc,etc, etc. Last time I saw Silberman, my X was standing before him, "THANKING" HIM!
It has been a year now, needless to say, that money is gone, and I once again face losing my modest one bedroom apartment and being homeless.There is absolutely NO work. Family has done all they can. I have been forced to apply for food stamps to eat. Thanks Harvey! At least if you get jail time, you'll have a roof over your head and food!!

I have had a post disolution (from 12 years ago) case in front of Harvey Silberman for the last two years, until his recent indictment, with no resolution. During those two years, my Attorney and I were confused as to why Harvey Silberman continued to make rulings not in line with the law and always favored the Petitioner (my ex) that filed two OSC within the last two years. Upon his indictment, I conducted some research and found that all his court ordered referrals (children's counsel, children's counselor, mediators) and my ex's attorney contributed to his campaign in a big way. In fact, my ex's attorney's husband is a Senior Vice President with Parsons in Pasadena and heads the Company's PAC, which contributed to Silberman's campaign. Seems that Mr. Silberman was not dishing out justice, rather dishing out payback to all his contributors. I have been billed thousands from friends of Silberman that he ordered me to pay. My Attorney did not contribute to his campaign. If you feel that you were on the losing end of Silbertman's decisions, chances are that the opposing counsel gave more to his campaign than your Attorney did. Look it up at the campaign office in Norwalk.
Harvey Silberman violated the public trust and deserves everything he gets. Now that is justice.


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