Kern County judge censured after alleged sexual relationship with courtroom clerk

Kern County judge censured after alleged sexual relationship with courtroom clerk

Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward has received the most severe sanction, short of removal, that the Commission of Judicial Performance can administer.
SAN FRANCISCO – Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward has been issued a Decision and Order of Censure from the Commission of Judicial Performance after allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a courtroom clerk.

The commission says that from approximately July 2012 through May 2013, Woodward had sex with a courtroom clerk, who was assigned to him, in his chambers and public places.

Additionally, the commission claims that Woodward passed notes of a sexual nature to the clerk during court proceedings, and used court computers to exchange personal emails and texts with her.

Between February and mid-May of 2013, Woodward was confronted by the court executive officer, deputy court executive officer, presiding judge, assistant presiding judge, and supervising judge regarding his relationship with the clerk, according to the commission.

At that time, Woodward reportedly denied a personal relationship with the clerk, and convinced court administration and his superior judicial officers that there was no need to reassign her.

The commission says that in May 2013, Woodward contacted the presiding judge and admitted to the relationship.

Woodward’s alleged transgressions were found to warrant removal from office, but the commission says that he expressed remorse over the incident and admitted to wrongdoing.

The commission says Woodward maintains respect from his presiding and supervising judges, and cooperated fully with the commission’s investigation.

Aside from removal, a public censure is the most severe sanction that the commission can administer to judges.
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