OC judge who fixed traffic tickets ordered to resign
A longtime Orange County judge who waived traffic fines for friends and family has been ordered to step down from his office.
A state oversight panel found nine occasions dating back to 2003 in which Richard W. Stanford Jr. diverted traffic cases to his court in order to help people he knew avoid fines.
The pattern “created both the appearance and the reality of a two-track system of justice — one for his friends and family and another for all others,” the 11-member Commission on Judicial Performance wrote in its decision Tuesday.
“Removal is necessary to restore public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and honor the commission’s mandate to ensure the even-handed administration of justice,” the ruling stated.
The order becomes final in 30 days, though the law gives the judge 90 days to petition the state Supreme Court to review his case.
Stanford has been a Superior Court judge since 1998, after 13 years as a municipal court judge.
The beneficiaries of his actions included his son-in-law, friends, a juror in his court and the pastor at his church.
Stanford apologized last year and paid the state for the fines and fees it would have collected.