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SAN JOSE — William Danser agreed to retire from the bench and accept public censure Thursday, ending several days of negotiation with the Commission on Judicial Performance. As part of the settlement, the former Santa Clara County Superior Court judge agreed that his conduct was unbefitting a judge and admitted he was guilty of one of the ethics charges against him — that he tried to have a traffic ticket filed against his son dismissed. “Our motivation was to get this over with and close this chapter in his life,” said Danser’s defense attorney, James Murphy of San Francisco’s Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney. “He has a family to support, and he is looking forward to the future. “It was important to negotiate this because [Danser] has no intention to serve as a judge again,” Murphy said. Danser was convicted in April of felony conspiracy and misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges, triggering his suspension from the bench. But had the CJP not proceeded with a discipline case against him, Danser could have returned to the bench, with back pay, in the event he were to overturn the conviction on appeal. A censure is a form of discipline often used by CJP, but has little practical effect outside of embarrassment, attorneys said. CJP attorneys counter that it is the maximum penalty allowed outside of removal from office. Murphy did not say what Danser plans to do after he is sentenced, but hinted that he may practice law. “He’s professionally capable of practicing law, and I think he’ll seek active status with the State Bar,” Murphy said. At his criminal trial, prosecutors said Danser fixed tickets to impress friends and professional athletes. Danser’s criminal defense attorney countered that Danser was acting well within Santa Clara County’s informal traffic court guidelines — a claim that was supposed to have continued during CJP hearings that were scheduled to begin this week. But on Monday, shortly after witnesses and reporters arrived, the courtroom doors were closed as defense and CJP attorneys negotiated. “What we’ve done is eliminate the need for a three- to five-week hearing,” Jay Linderman, the CJP’s legal adviser, said Thursday. The case will now be reviewed by three special masters who will later file their “proposed findings,” and then a final report. But those findings will mean little since Danser has agreed to leave the bench. “It will come back to the commission, but the judge has agreed to retire and has stipulated that he took part in �prejudicial misconduct.’ That’s sufficient for a censure and bar — and [Danser] stipulated that both are warranted,” Linderman said. Danser’s agreement means he also waives his right to have the California Supreme Court review the ethics charges against him. Danser is scheduled to be sentenced in the criminal matter on Monday.

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