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Napa County Superior Court Judge to Resign Following Censure From Commission on Judicial Performance




A Napa County Superior Court Judge has agreed to resign following a public censure from the State of California Commission on Judicial Performance.

Williams was censured for taking two business card holders valued at $30 and $50 each, from The City Club of San Francisco while attending a dinner held there by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) on March 9, 2016. On March 29, 2016, Judge Williams returned the cardholders with a letter to The City Club—after an AAML fellow told Judge Williams he had been seen on video taking the cardholders—and Judge Williams self-reported to the commission the following day.
Michael S. Williams 

As part of the censure, Williams has agreed to resign from the bench effective December 5, 2017 and to be absent from the bench after October 19, 2017. 

In its decision, the commission stated that “Judge Williams’s conduct seriously undermines public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.” In determining to impose a public censure pursuant to the Stipulation, the commission stated, “The judge’s agreement to resign effective December 5, 2017, and not to seek or hold judicial office thereafter affords protection to the public and the reputation of the judiciary in the most expeditious manner by avoiding the delay of further proceedings.” 

Williams was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2012. He filed for re-election in 2014, but due to facing no opposition, was automatically elected to a new term that would have expired in 2021.



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