Judge whose ruling was pivotal to Newsom recall campaign was once law partner of attorney in recall lawsuit

California
In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, demonstrators shout slogans while carrying a sign calling for a recall on Gov. Gavin Newsom during a protest against a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Huntington Beach. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, demonstrators shout slogans while carrying a sign calling for a recall on Gov. Gavin Newsom during a protest against a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Huntington Beach. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The Sacramento County Superior Court judge whose ruling in November was pivotal to the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom, providing supporters extra time to gather the necessary petition signatures to trigger a special election, was once a law partner with the attorney hired by the effort’s proponents to plead their case.

Judge James P. Arguelles and Bradley Benbrook were attorneys at the Sacramento law firm of Stevens, O’Connell & Jacobs before 2010 and, according to federal court records, the two served as co-counsel on at least two cases.

Sacramento retiree Howard Herships, who opposes the campaign to recall Newsom, said he raised the issue last month in a complaint against the judge filed with the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency that investigates allegations of judicial misconduct.

Herships, 77, said that he considered the work relationship to be a conflict of interest for the judge and that he should not have heard the case.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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