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Calif. judge accused of fixing tickets

LOS ANGELES, April 13 (UPI) -- A California judge accused of fixing traffic tickets for friends, co-workers and even his minister has been ordered to appear before a judicial panel.

The panel, which could recommend his removal from office, will examine a series of traffic cases that Richard Stanford, a judge in Orange County Superior Court since 1998, presided over for acquaintances, relatives and others, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

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The panel will consider whether Stanford violated judicial ethics rules by having the traffic citations transferred to his courtroom and giving the cases special treatment such as waiving fines without following proper courtroom procedure.

The complaint from the Commission on Judicial Performance contains nine allegations of misconduct from 2003 to 2010.

The commission alleged Stanford took over cases and dismissed traffic fines for a juror serving in his courtroom, several family friends, his son-in-law and his own court clerk.

Ethics rules bar judges from hearing cases involving family and friends.

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