LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state watchdog agency reprimanded a Los Angeles County judge on Tuesday for making online postings that appeared to support positions on gun control, Black Lives Matter and the recall of the county's top prosecutor.
Superior Court Judge Michael O’Gara’s comments on Facebook and Twitter “gave the appearance of bias,” the Commission on Judicial Performance said.
In its public admonishment, the commission said O'Gara “posted undignified, indecorous remarks in response to public figures, and appeared to espouse partisan and controversial viewpoints,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The judge declined to comment Tuesday, the paper said.
O’Gara spent nearly 20 years as an Los Angeles County prosecutor before he was elected to the Superior Court in 2008. He was reelected last year to a six-year term. The state reprimand doesn't affect his term in office.
In its admonishment, the judicial commission said last December, O’Gara joined a Facebook group that favored recalling Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón three days after the former San Francisco prosecutor took office. The recall effort is still in the signature-gathering stage.
O'Gara posted a comment that said Gascón was violating state law by refusing to seek sentence increases and called judges who opposed the DA's directives “heroes," according to the judicial commission.
O'Gara also appeared to take a position against gun control in a 2016 tweet and issued Facebook “likes" of postings by a commentator who denounced Black Lives Matter activists and by former San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff.
Huff was disinvited to a reunion celebration last year after former teammates objected to his tweets, which among others urged training people to use guns in case Donald Trump lost the election to Bernie Sanders and calling on the United States to invade Iran and kidnap women there.
The commission said O’Gara later apologized for his postings, deleted his Twitter account and withdrew from the Gascón recall Facebook group.