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SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Danser, who now faces both criminal and Commission on Judicial Performance charges of ticket-fixing, wants to halt the judicial watchdog’s investigation until the criminal trial is over. Attorney James Murphy said prosecutors and Commission on Judicial Performance investigators have already been trading tips on Danser. He said the stay is necessary to protect Danser’s Fifth Amendment rights and prevent prosecutors from gathering more “ammunition” and incriminating statements from CJP hearings. “The Commission of Judicial Performance and the district attorney of Santa Clara County seemed to be working hand in glove,” said Murphy, with Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney. Murphy is asking the California Supreme Court to stay the CJP ethics investigation until Danser stands trial for felony conspiracy and misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges in People v. Danser, 210838. Danser was indicted in September on charges that he fixed 20 traffic tickets and was too lenient in two DUI cases. The CJP charged Danser with ethical violations for the same incidents in February. “Judge Danser, like any other private citizen, has constitutional protections and constitutional rights,” Murphy said Friday. “Given the procedures that have to be followed in front of the commission, his constitutional rights would be infringed.” If Danser chooses to admit to the CJP charges, Murphy argues that prosecutors will likely allow his response into evidence “to force him to take the stand in People v. Danser.“ If Danser denies the CJP charges, the judicial watchdog could level additional perjury and impeachment charges if Danser is found guilty in the criminal case. The CJP has already denied Danser’s request to postpone its hearings, said Director Victoria Henley. The CJP and the DA have already coordinated resources to investigate Danser. District Attorney George Kennedy said last fall that the CJP referred the Danser case to them. Two CJP attorneys testified in front of the grand jury for the prosecution in the criminal case. And last week, Deputy DA David Pandori said he has referred two additional suspicious DUI cases that Danser handled to the CJP, which amended its complaint to include them.

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