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SACRAMENTO — The state Commission on Judicial Performance on Thursday charged a Los Angeles judge with willful misconduct for, among other things, discussing pending cases during appearances on public television. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kevin Ross is also accused of engaging in ex parte communications with a defendant, becoming “embroiled” with cases in his court, and disregarding a defendant’s right to counsel. He is also accused of leaving court to appear on a local radio show and of telling court administrators he needed to attend a daytime California Association of Black Lawyers function that, in reality, was an evening event. Ross was first elected to the Inglewood Municipal Court in 1998 when he was just 35, becoming the court’s youngest member. He has sat on the Superior Court bench since 1999. He is a former deputy district attorney, talk show host and Parks and Recreation commissioner. “I have been involved in community outreach,” Ross said Thursday, “and I ran on that.” He said half of the allega-tions were directly related to outreach activities, but he said that in hindsight, his other actions were wrong and he took responsibility for them. His attorney, Edward George Jr. of Long Beach, declined to comment on the accusations Thursday. But he de-scribed Ross as a promising judge and a “community activist.” The commission says that Ross appeared on the public TV show “Life and Times Tonight” four times, where he commented on a juvenile case that was before him, a California Supreme Court case concerning a sexually violent predator, and a criminal case in Los Angeles. The commission has scheduled a hearing May 20 before three special masters. The masters will report their findings to the 11-member commission, which can then decide to dismiss the charges or remove, censure or admonish Ross.

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