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San Diego judge agrees to resign after censure by judicial panel

November 10, 2010 |  1:17 pm

Salcido2 A San Diego County Superior Court judge has agreed to resign after being censured by the Commission on Judicial Performance for a pattern of intemperate behavior toward lawyers and defendants.

Judge DeAnn M. Salcido agreed to resign immediately to avoid formal proceedings against her that could have led to her ouster. The resignation becomes effective within five days, according to an agreement signed by the judge and lawyers for the commission.

Salcido was appointed to the bench in 2002 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and reelected this year. A UCLA law school graduate, she also served as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

In the agreement, confirmed Wednesday, Salcido agreed that 39 specific allegations are true. She also agreed not to seek another judicial appointment.

She was charged by the commission with making mocking, rude and slightly off-color comments from the bench. She also arranged to have her courtroom filmed as part of a pitch to a Hollywood producer for her to star in a reality television show.

The commission concluded that her behavior violated judicial canons.

"It is self-evident that crude comments and sexually suggestive jokes from a judge have no place in a courtroom," the commission said in the agreement signed by Salcido. "Yet, Judge Salcido made manifestly inappropriate remarks of a lewd nature in an open courtroom as the proceedings were being filmed."

For example, Salcido told a defendant that he would be "screwed" if he violated probation and "we don't offer Vaseline for that."

In a statement released after the commission action was made public, Salcido said, "While I understand that some of my comments from the bench were not favorably viewed by certain observers, the intention behind my less traditional style was to connect with the offenders, the victims, and others in the courtroom, to help (create) positive change for the community."

She added that she is "very much looking forward to moving on to the next chapter of my life, which I anticipate will involve both justice and reform, which are my passions."

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Judge DeAnn M. Salcido; credit: Fox 5 San Diego