Opponents of judge recall fight back with robocalls

LaDoris Cordell

Daily Post Staff Writer

More than 100,000 phones rang in Santa Clara County yesterday to deliver a recorded message from retired Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell, in which she called on voters to keep Judge Aaron Persky in office amid a bitter recall campaign.

“If this recall succeeds, judges will be looking over their shoulders, testing the winds before making their decisions,” Cordell says in the message, defending Persky as “a longtime respected judge who follows the law.”

Cordell, a former member of the Palo Alto City Council, was tapped to record the message by Persky’s campaign, Retain Judge Persky: No Recall, also known as Voices Against Recall. It is fighting the recall campaign, led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber. Dauber is working to collect 58,634 signatures this fall in order to qualify her recall measure for the June ballot. A judge last week ruled against a lawsuit brought by Persky against the county registrar of voters and the recall movement.

Against recall

Opponents of the recall movement include Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, as Cordell noted in her message. Other opponents include a slew of other Superior Court judges, Santa Clara County Public Defender Molly O’Neal, former Palo Alto Mayor Judith Kleinberg and Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay Corrigan.

Cordell served as Independent Police Auditor for the city of San Jose until 2015. Before that, she served as Stanford’s vice provost from 2001 to 2009 and on Palo Alto City Council from 2004 to 2008.

Turner case

The recall effort is in response to Persky’s six-month jail sentence for former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a fraternity party.

Turner was released from county jail one year ago today after serving three months of his sentence. Prosecutors had sought a six-year prison sentence and the probation department recommended a “moderate” county jail sentence, which by law would have to be under a year. In her message, Cordell also pointed out that the state judicial ethics commission investigated and rejected allegations of bias in Persky’s ruling. The commission’s Dec. 19 report found Turner’s sentence to be “not unlawful” and rejected claims of bias in other cases heard by Persky.