California judge censured for sex in chambers wins re-election

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A California judge who was censured for having sex with an intern and a lawyer in his chambers won re-election Tuesday over an opponent who promised to “restore integrity” to the bench.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner won 56.3 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results, edging out prosecutor Karen Schatzle by more than 45,000 votes, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Steiner became a judge in 2011 and was censured by a judicial oversight panel three years later for having sex with two women in his chambers. Steiner had previously taught both women at Chapman University’s law school. The judge expressed remorse for his acts, The Times reported, and the panel opted for censure instead of removal from the bench.

“Engaging in sexual intercourse in the courthouse is the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” the Commission on Judicial Performance wrote in its censure decision.

Schatzle used the scandal regularly in her rhetoric while challenging Steiner for his seat.

“Scott Steiner has made a mockery of what our community expects of our judiciary,” Schatzle said on her website.