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SAN JOSE — Acting on a tip from prosecutors, the Commission on Judicial Performance has accused Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Danser of steering two additional drunken driving cases to his courtroom for lenient treatment. Danser is already under criminal indictment for his handling of 20 traffic tickets and two DUIs. But prosecutors have uncovered two more DUIs which they say Danser mishandled. According to the CJP’s complaint, Danser transferred to himself drunken driving cases against San Jose Sharks player Niklas Sundstrom and Santa Clara County Corrections Sgt. Edward Meyers. Neither received jail time, with Danser instead ordering fines and three years’ probation. First-time DUI offenders in Santa Clara County are typically sentenced to six days of the work weekend program, probation and fines. Danser was indicted for obstruction of justice in September along with former Los Gatos Police Det. Randall Bishop. Earlier this month, the CJP brought ethics charges that could lead to Danser’s removal from the bench. In addition to the traffic and DUI cases, the CJP charged Danser with belittling attorneys and staff and making an inappropriate comment to teen-age girls observing his courtroom. Santa Clara District Attorney George Kennedy said last fall that the CJP referred the criminal case to his office. Now Deputy DA David Pandori said his office tipped off the CJP about the additional DUIs. “We were familiar with them and informed the Commission on Judicial Performance on both cases,” Pandori said. “We learned about them after the grand jury indictment.” Pandori declined to say if his office was considering filing additional charges. Danser’s case is set for trial March 29. According to the amended CJP complaint, Sundstrom, who left the Sharks in 2003 and now plays for the Montreal Canadiens, was arrested for DUI in May 2000. He had a blood-alcohol level of .22, resulting in an additional enhancement. The case was set for arraignment in Judge Joyce Allegro’s department. The CJP alleges that Danser wasn’t handling arraignments then, but spoke with Bishop and had the case transferred to his department. Sundstrom’s attorney pleaded no contest in front of Danser in July 2000, and Danser sentenced Sundstrom to no jail time, three years probation, 90 days restricted license and a $2,931 fine. “Your decision to transfer the case was not the result of any judicial determination that there was a legal or other proper basis,” according to the CJP complaint. “Your actions in the case were lenient.” In January 2002, according to the CJP, Danser’s bailiff Susan Taylor asked the judge to handle a DUI case for Meyers, a fellow law enforcement officer and friend. Meyers’ case had been set for arraignment in Judge Erica Yew’s court. Danser took the case instead, according to the CJP, and Meyers, who had a .20 blood-alcohol level, pleaded guilty. Danser sentenced him to no jail time, three years probation, 90 days restricted license and a $1,251 fine. Neither Danser’s criminal defense attorney, Kenneth Robinson, nor his attorney for the CJP proceedings, James Murphy, returned calls Tuesday.

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