Thursday, March 17, 2011

L.A. County judge admonished over Ku Klux Klan remark

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who made an "offensive and inappropriate" reference to the Ku Klux Klan while presiding over a robbery trial involving two African American defendants was publicly admonished Wednesday by a state agency overseeing judges' discipline.

Judge Harvey Giss of the San Fernando Courthouse made the comments in July during an off-the-record discussion with attorneys about a possible plea agreement in the case, according to the state Commission on Judicial Performance.

Neither of the defendants was present, but a family member was in the courtroom, according to the commission. Giss told the commission he remarked that the only thing that would make the defendants agree to a plea was for the judge to "come out in a white sheet and a pointy white hat," according to the panel's statement of facts.

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