Dauber pulls out of recall debate, sends law school colleague to go up against Cordell

Former judge LaDoris Cordell makes her case against the recall of Judge Aaron Perksy at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills on April 18. Post photo by Allison Levitsky.
Former judge LaDoris Cordell makes her case against the recall of Judge Aaron Perksy at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills on April 18. Post photo by Allison Levitsky.

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer

Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber pulled out of a debate over the movement to recall Judge Aaron Persky hours before the event last night with the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition, sending a colleague to debate in her place.

Citing a mandatory parent meeting at her son’s school, the Recall Persky leader sent G. Marcus Cole, a Stanford Law professor who published an op-ed piece supporting the recall in the San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 22.

Cole teaches courses on bankruptcy, banking, contracts and venture capital at the law school and identified himself as one of four Republicans on faculty to the audience at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills last night.

Stanford law Professor G. Marcus Cole argues for the recall of Judge Persky during the event last night (April 18). Post photo by Allison Levitsky.
Stanford law Professor G. Marcus Cole argues for the recall of Judge Persky during the event last night (April 18). Post photo by Allison Levitsky.

He faced off against retired Palo Alto Judge LaDoris Cordell, a Persky supporter who brought with her 200 pages of emails between Dauber and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, obtained via a public records request.

Law students researching Persky

Dauber had been corresponding with prosecutors to unearth Persky’s cases prior to the six-month county jail sentence he gave Stanford sex assailant Brock Turner, a task for which she had enlisted students’ help to pull records at the courthouse.

“In their desperate attempt to paint a picture of Judge Persky as a biased judge and overall bad person, and after combing through thousands of records, the recall campaign came up with five cases,” Cordell said. “Think about it, five cases out of 2,000. That’s 0.25%, or one-quarter of 1%, of Judge Persky’s cases. Common sense tells you that’s not a pattern.”

Cole, meanwhile, focused on the “uniquely powerful” role of Superior Court judges, who because of their six-year terms, don’t face as many limits as lifetime-appointed federal judges do.

“This is why California law and the California Constitution, as well as 26 other states, balance judicial independence with judicial accountability,” Cole said. “The sweeping powers of state court judges requires that they be exercised with the public trust. That trust was breached by Judge Persky in the Brock Turner case.”

Previous cases cited

Turner’s light sentence in 2016 triggered outrage, Cole said, but Persky had showed bias elsewhere over the 18 months during which he heard cases at the Palo Alto Courthouse.

Cole cited the four-day county jail sentence Persky gave to Robert Chain for felony child pornography possession.

The judge also allowed Ikaika Gunderson, convicted of felony domestic violence, to leave without probation or supervision so that he would not lose the opportunity to play football for the University of Hawaii, and did not inform Hawaii officials as required by the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, according to Cole.

Cole also criticized Persky for allowing lawyers for the De Anza College baseball players accused of gang rape to show revealing photographs of the victim to the jury, “as if to suggest she was asking for it,” Cole said.

Persky honored previously

But prior to the Turner case, Cordell said, Persky had never been accused of misconduct or showing bias. His wife is a woman of color and his two elementary school-age children are biracial, she said.

While in private practice at the Palo Alto law firm Morrison and Foerster, Persky received the Civil Rights Leadership Award for his work on hate crimes and the State Bar of California’s Pro Bono Award for his legal work for the poor, Cordell said.

In the District Attorney’s Office, he prosecuted violent sex crimes and hate crimes and served on the executive committees of the Support Network for Battered Women and the Santa Clara County Network for a Hate-Free Community.

“Had Judge Persky sentenced Brock Turner to prison instead of jail, we wouldn’t be here this evening. There would be no recall,” Cordell said. “Had he just said the word ‘prison,’ Judge Persky would have been the toast of the town, the best judge ever. But he made a lawful decision that he deemed appropriate to the facts, and now the recall wants you to believe that he’s the worst judge ever.”

Cordell questioned the appropriateness of recalling Persky for an unpopular sentence, suggesting that if a judge isn’t fit for the job, run against him. Recalls are intended for judges who engage in egregious misconduct, which is why California hasn’t seen a judge recalled in 85 years.

Cole said Persky should be recalled in June because of the level of public outrage that the Turner case outcome stirred up, leading the recall to gather 100,000 signatures.

He also argued that the county can’t afford for sexual assault victims to not come forward, which could be the result of Persky remaining in office. Neither side mentioned that Persky is currently the court’s night judge, working from home to sign police warrants at odd hours, not hearing cases.

26 Comments

  1. Being married to someone of color does not mean you are not racial bias. I know a couple, Mexican and Black. They told their daughter not to ever date a Mexican or a Black. Those that want to believe that minorities cannot be racist are simply believing in a fallacy!
    The sanjoseinside on the California state audit explains how the Commission for judicial Performance does not Investigate Cases, so judges basically are free to abuse their JUDICIAL DISCRETION!
    LaDoris Cordell appears more like those so concern from approval of her privileged friends. Her Interest appears to be Persky’s wellbeing not victims of domestic violence and sexual crimes! She also wants to secure her TV show.

    Thank you professor Cole for being on the side of the people in Santa Clara County and victims of domestic violence and sexual crimes.

    On June 5, 2018 VOTE YES to recall judge Persky and all corrupted judges in Santa Clara County.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  2. Dauber not only misrepresents Lersky’s record she misrepresented the Turner case. She “saw” the Emily Doe speech before it was given in court and sent it out to news media concurrently with Doe reading it. The effect was no fact checking was done by media, to do so would be mean to Doe. But the famous statement was misleading. There was no rape and no pine needles shoved into Doe nor any sadism. Dauber implied Doe was more or less left for dead by Turner in some interviews. Totally untrue Doe told the cops she had no injuries less than 24 hours later. Doe probably consented, very drunkenly, to sex with Turner but got scared her super wealthy BF would break up with her.

  3. I’m amazed Dauber canceled for the reason given. Did this school meeting come up at the last minute, or is she unable to keep a schedule, or is it just an excuse because she feared she would lose to LaDoris?

  4. Can the Daily Post let us know if there are any more debates on the recall planned? I’d like to go —- or watch them on TV? What about Channel 26?

    • Check the recallaaronpersky site. I am sure there will be a free debate. This was organized as a monthly event. I want to watch one too!

    • No, I do not. I think this was a smart and planned decision. Cordell has implied that minorities and males support Persky and only “crazy” women support recall. This match shows a minority male supports the recall. It also shows this recall is bipartisan meaning democrats and republicans support it. This is why Mrs. Douber was able to collect almost 100,000 signatures from registered voters in the county. Cordell did the same in a similar but democrat event. She sent a male White law professor in her place. Thus, Mrs. Douber was there and Cordell was not. The other event was free at a local dinner. They are even. I would like to see them both in debate. Cordell probably was a fine behind the bench; she is not a good debater.

  5. A jury of 12 found Brock Turner GUILTY of three felony sex crimes and Judge Persky only gave him 6 months in jail, which was reduced by the jail’s policy to just 3 months. Turner is now appealing since he believes he is not a sex offender. This case is a travesty of justice. Everybody in the judicial system in Santa Clara County—the district attorney, the probation department, the sheriff—ought to be ashamed. Of course Persky needs to be removed. The rest of them should go too!

      • You are showing your lack of knowledge. A jury’s only job is to find a defendant guilty or not guilty. Their determination has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on the sentence, primarily because they cannot be expected to know or understand all the various factors that go into sentencing. This fallacy also goes along with repeated assertions by the recall campaign that the verdict was unanimous, so somehow the punishment should be harsher. Sorry, but you cannot get a guilty verdict without a unanimous decision. Unanimity has no bearing on the sentence either.

  6. Cordell continues her attempt to distract voters with personal attacks. This is about Judge Persky’s record of bias. Unconscious bias is dangerous. You know where I heard that? Cordell herself.

    In fact, back on June 16, 2016–14 days after Brock Turner was sentenced to just 6 mos in county jail for 3 felony counts of sexual assault on an unconscious victim–Cordell was a KPIX 5 legal analyst. “Cordell told CBS This Morning that Brock Allen Turner’s six-month jail sentence was the result of white privilege and questioned whether Turner would have received as light a sentence if he wasn’t white and hadn’t been attending a prestigious university.”

    “Be very thoughtful about it … When you’re not sure, flip the demographic and it gets you thinking … If you have those biases and you’re a judge, that’s very dangerous,”

    Later, after the reality court series on FOX in which Cordell appeared with FOX News Channel host Jeanine Pirro was cancelled in 2017, Judge Persky asked Cordell to speak on his behalf (according to the New York Times).

    • Dauber continues to her attempt to distract voters from the facts. Allegations of bias are just that: allegations. An entire recall campaign has been spun around allegations. Several outside reviews of Persky’s record have found no pattern of bias. As for Kati’s assertion of “unconscious bias”, sorry, but we ALL have unconscious biases, that’s why they’re called unconscious. Not a credible reason for a recall.

    • I saw the CBS and CNN interviews; Cordell contradicts herself. In CBS she call Persky’s mitigating factors “code for White privilege.” Then on CNN she stated the case was not at all about sexual activity and Persky is a fair judge. Persky asked the wrong person to be his top cheerleader!

  7. Cordell continues her attempt to distract voters with personal attacks. This is about Judge Persky’s record of bias. Unconscious bias is dangerous. You know where I heard that? Cordell herself.

    In fact, back on June 16, 2016–14 days after Brock Turner was sentenced to just 6 mos in county jail for 3 felony counts of sexual assault on an unconscious victim–Cordell was a KPIX 5 legal analyst. “Cordell told CBS This Morning that Brock Allen Turner’s six-month jail sentence was the result of white privilege and questioned whether Turner would have received as light a sentence if he wasn’t white and hadn’t been attending a prestigious university.”

    “Be very thoughtful about it … When you’re not sure, flip the demographic and it gets you thinking … If you have those biases and you’re a judge, that’s very dangerous,”

    Later, after the reality court series on FOX in which Cordell appeared with FOX News Channel host Jeanine Pirro was cancelled in 2017, Judge Persky asked Cordell to speak on his behalf (according to the New York Times).

  8. The headline of this story should be “working mom has last minute family obligation, solves it gracefully, nothing happens.” Hey people it’s 2018, working moms have stuff happen all the time. It sounds like the recall campaign was well-represented at the debate. What exactly is the issue that justifies that headline? It’s not like the recall campaign didn’t show up. The recall campaign was represented by a second Stanford Law Professor – what exactly is anyone’s problem with that? This is misogynistic. Hey Daily Post: it’s 2018 and moms work. That might be news to Allison Levitsky for some reason.

  9. The judge issued his decision at the recommendation of the probation department, as well as consistent with California’s guidelines to judges which for first offenders to work towards rehabilitation, not just punishment. The warning of the Dean of the U of CA at Berkeley’s law school last week that judicial independence is at risk here. He strongly opposes this recall as do I. Misdirected.

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