- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge from Orange County and another from Kern County have been censured by a California watchdog agency for sexual misconduct and other misbehavior.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner was censured for having sex with two women in his chambers, contacting prosecutors about jobs for a woman he was having an affair with, and failing to disqualify himself from a case involving a friend, the Commission on Judicial Performance said Tuesday.

Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward also was censured. The commission said Woodward had a sexual relationship with a court clerk and resisted efforts to reassign the clerk. He was accused of misleading the court about the relationship.

Both judges will remain on the bench despite the censures.

Steiner’s sexual activity in the courthouse was “the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” the commission’s report stated.

“It reflects an utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court, and is seriously at odds with a judge’s duty to avoid conduct that tarnishes the esteem of the judicial office in the public’s eye,” the report said.

Steiner and Woodward both cooperated fully with the inquiry, both apologize and appreciate the commission’s “thorough review,” Paul S. Meyer, an attorney who represented both judges, said in statements.

Woodward “expressed great remorse and contrition,” Meyer said.

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