SACRAMENTO — California’s judicial watchdog has publicly admonished an El Dorado County judge for improperly holding a courthouse critic in contempt.

Judge James Wagoner abused his contempt power by ordering Penny Arnold to appear in his courtroom after she allegedly caused a disturbance in the lobby of the Placerville courthouse, according to the Commission on Judicial Performance. Arnold is a public critic of the county’s Child Protective Services Agency and has protested outside the courthouse and complained in open session to the Board of Supervisors.

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