Two Judges Censured for Having Sex Inside Chambers

Two California judges have been publicly censured after having sex with women inside their chambers.

A judicial oversight panel excoriated Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner and Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward on Tuesday for what it described as gravely inappropriate sexual misconduct.

“Engaging in sexual intercourse in the courthouse is the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” wrote the Commission on Judicial Performance in its decision to censure.

Steiner’s misdeeds involved two former law students. In addition to the whole sex-in-the-chambers thing, Steiner was rebuked for failing to disqualify himself from a case involving a good friend. According to the commission, he also contacted the Orange County district attorney’s office about a job application for one of the women he had slept with.

Woodward’s actions involved a married clerk with whom he’d carried on an affair between 2012 and 2013. Woodward was also censured for lying about it to the court’s chief executive.

The commission stopped short of calling for the judges’ removal. Aside from removing a judge from the bench, a public censure constitutes the strictest form of discipline available.

Attorney Paul S. Meyer, who is representing both the judges, said Tuesday that his clients are cooperating fully with the investigation. Both have expressed great remorse over their actions, he added.

Read more about public censures here.


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