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SAN JOSE � A Santa Clara superior court judge admitted he screwed up when he drafted and sent a court order to a South Bay police chief demanding that two parking tickets issued against his vehicle be dismissed. Judge William Danser said Friday that he made a mistake when he used court stationery to order the Los Gatos police department to dismiss two parking tickets worth $90. On the advice of District Attorney George Kennedy, Police Chief Scott Seaman refused to dismiss the tickets, leading to a terse exchange of letters between the chief and the judge. The flap came to light Friday when the Los Gatos Daily News and four of its South Bay sister publications printed the letters after obtaining them under the Freedom of Information Act. “What I did was inappropriate. I can’t say they’re wrong,” Danser said Friday. “Once this stuff started coming out, I sent it to the Commission on Judicial Performance. I self-reported it. I will take my lump and let’s move on.” Danser said he issued the two-sentence order Jan. 9 after he discovered two parking tickets in his 16-year-old son’s car. Chief Seaman wrote back refusing to dismiss the tickets because they were for a vehicle registered to Danser. Seaman called the order “unusual” Friday and said it didn’t appear the judge tried any of the formal appeals processes. “There are several ways you can do it, but this was framed as an order rather than an appeal,” Seaman said. Danser had written back to explain that the parking tickets had been issued when his son was parked in the high school parking lot. According to Danser’s letter, “The reason I dismissed the parking citations is that they should never have been issued” because his son had a valid permit to park there. Danser, who currently handles felony criminal trials, acknowledged that sending the first letter on court stationery was a bad judgment call and said he is sending all information about the incident to the CJP. “I’ll send it all up there and fall on my sword and do what I am supposed to do,” Danser said. Danser, 49, was appointed to the municipal bench in 1995 by Gov. Pete Wilson and elevated to the superior court in 1998 with unification. Danser, who lives in Los Gatos, is married to Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Catherine Gallagher. The CJP, which investigates complaints of judicial misconduct, can order a judge removed from the bench, issue a public censure or admonishment, or send a private warning. In August, the CJP removed San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Michael Platt from the bench on four counts of fixing tickets for friends and family and three counts of attempting to influence other judges.

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