Los Angeles County Superior Court is already facing a lost business day next week when many of its courthouses go dark Wednesday to cut costs. Now it’s facing the loss of a judge, at least temporarily.
Judge Harvey Silberman was indicted by a grand jury on June 24 on charges that he tried to bribe Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo not to run against him in the June 2008 election, according to a copy of the indictment provided by the attorney general’s office.
Also charged in the indictment were political consultants Evelyn Alexander and Alan Steinberg. Silberman’s attorney, Daniel Nixon, told the Los Angeles Times that the judge “is appalled and outraged” by the charges and that he is “absolutely innocent.” The two consultants entered not guilty pleas on Wednesday. Silberman’s arraignment was delayed pending the arrival of an out-of-county judge.
Witness list, after the jump
Silberman defeated Murillo 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent in the Office No. 69 race. Silberman was appointed as a court commission in 2004, according to his campaign Web site, which included a long list of endorsements from city officials, Democratic clubs, court commissioners and judges.
The indictment does not provide details of the alleged wrongdoing. It did include a list of nine witnesses: Lori Ann Jones (LA Court Commissioner Lori-Ann Jones ran unsuccessfully for the Office No. 84 judgeship in 2008, although the indictment doesn’t make it clear if this is the same person); Harriett Coleman-Russ; Alex Olvera; Serena Murillo; Harold Irving Dash; William James Kopeny; Armando Duron; Danny Kim; and Mary Kay Stephens.
Silberman has been placed on paid leave by the court, according to media reports.
— Cheryl Miller
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