New Superior Court Judges To Take Office
Monday, January 7, 2013
Aired 1/7/13 on KPBS News.
San Diego's Superior Court swears in three new judges today, including controversial attorney Gary Kreep.
SAN DIEGO Gary Kreep and two other new Superior Court judges took office Monday during ceremonies at the county courthouse.
About thirty people gathered to witness Kreep take an oath of office. Assistant Presiding Judge David Danielsen administered the oath, explaining the ceremony marked Kreep's transition from his "former life."
"This is a line of demarcation from the advocate he has been for a number of causes," Danielsen said. "He now serves a new role for one primary and singular client, and that is delivering justice to people of the state of California, and specifically in this community."
As a private-practice attorney, Kreep took up many conservative causes, including petitioning the Supreme Court to review President Barack Obama's eligibility to serve. Kreep told KPBS in June that he had “sincere doubts” that President Obama is a U.S. citizen.
After taking his oath, Kreep thanked those gathered and asked that God guide him "to do what is just and right and fair."
Longtime prosecutors Bob Amador and David Berry were also sworn in Monday. The three judges begin work Tuesday: Amador in family court, Berry in criminal and Kreep in misdemeanors. New judges rotate assignments to gain experience.
Kreep won his seat in the June primary after defeating prosecutor Garland Peed by fewer than 2,000 votes. He was also rated as “lacking qualifications” by the San Diego County Bar Association, and the who’s who of the county legal community reeled from the fact that he made it through.
Kreep’s win upped the stakes for the remaining race -- Amador versus private-practicing attorney Jim Miller Jr. Like the Peed-Kreep race, the candidates were rated at each end of the spectrum by the bar: Amador was rated “well qualified” and Miller as “lacking qualifications.”
Many lawyers and retired judges vowed not to let another unqualified candidate win again. The race -- unusually heated for a judicial seat -- sparked a lawsuit over ballot language and even Facebook and illegal immigration played a role.
In the end, Amador defeated Miller by more than 16,000 votes.
Prosecutor Berry, who won a judgeship in the June primary against court commissioner Terrie Roberts, will also take the oath of office today at the courthouse.
Joining the three elected judges is Judge Paula Rosenstein, who Gov. Jerry Brown appointed to fill a vacancy in November.