In July, the Commission on Judicial Performance, comprised of judges, attorneys and other professionals, issued the most severe sanction possible to a Fresno County Superior Court judge short of removing him from the bench.
Since then, some letters to the editor and online posts have been critical of local judges, alleging in broad, accusatory terms that they are all dirty and incompetent. These comments are simply wrong, unsupported and border on malicious. Since serving on this bench and as the presiding judge since 2014, I have observed first hand that our judges are exceptionally qualified, hard-working and more than diligent.
Supported by court staff, they helped Fresno County residents obtain justice, resolve disputes and repair their lives in over 200,000 cases last year alone. Are judges perfect? Of course not. That’s why the commission exists as an independent entity to investigate claims of judicial misconduct.
Some criticism is expected, considering that judges have to make decisions that are at times controversial and rule against one party. But it’s unfair to characterize the work of 48 judicial officers by the actions of one. They deserve to be considered on their own merit with the same fairness and respect that everyone else expects.
Jonathan B. Conklin, Presiding Judge, Fresno County Superior Court