SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego judge who was an advocate of the debunked “birther” movement is under investigation for his behavior during his judicial campaign and on the bench.
The state Commission on Judicial Performance said Friday it has instituted formal proceedings into the allegations against San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep, who is accused of violating judicial ethics when he sent fundraising letters during his candidacy for judicial office in 2012 challenging President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
Kreep, who hears civil cases, is also accused of “lack of proper courtroom decorum” for his comments to a Mexican-American public defender in 2013, saying “I wasn’t planning on having you deported,” according to a document released by the commission.
The document also said Kreep occasionally gave lawyers nicknames including “Bunhead,” ”Dimples” and “Shorty,” and commented on their physical appearances. The conservative legal advocate was also accused of using crude language on the bench and making racially insensitive remarks to defendants and attorneys.
Kreep’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the San Diego Superior Court said it does not comment on pending cases.
Evidence in the case will be presented at a hearing before the commission makes a decision. If the allegations are upheld, punishment can range from privately disciplining the judge to removing him from office.
Last year, the Fair Political Practices Commission said Kreep agreed to pay a $6,000 fine for financial irregularities in his 2012 campaign.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.