Ethics violation complaint filed against two San Francisco judges

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News has learned that an ethics violation complaint has been filed against San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Teri Jackson and Assistant Presiding Judge Garret Wong.

Retired librarian and activist Winnie Porter walked into the offices of the watchdog Commission on Judicial Performance and filed the complaint.

It alleges that Presiding Judge Teri Jackson and Assistant Presiding Judge Garrett Wong of the San Francisco Superior Court violated the State ethics code by using Court letterhead to endorse four incumbent judges in the upcoming June elections.

Although they didn't endorse the judges outright, they write "we stand firmly behind" the incumbents.

The state's Government Code states judges and other public officials cannot "use public resources for a campaign activity."

This year, four judges on the bench are being challenged by these lawyers from the City Public Defender's Office.

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Porter, who supports the opponents, says it's just simply wrong and illegal

"Basically it's my money, my taxpayer money, your taxpayer money being used for this."

Porter's complaint says the two top judges further violated the ethics code by posting the letter on the Court's website.

Kwixuan Maloof, a public defender who's running, says the potential damage to his campaign may be immeasurable.

"Any juror that gets a jury notice is directed to that website. Those are potential voters."

Public Defender Nicole Solis is another candidate.

"We have fraternity like system where they circle the wagon and they do everything in lockstep."

A Superior Court spokesperson told ABC7news, they can't comment on matters before the Commission.

If found guilty, the judges could be fined up to $1,000 a day each day the violations continue.

The letter has been removed from the Court Website but Porter says one can still Google the letter because it remains on the Court's server.
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