Clinton Parish sent a mailer accusing his court rival of links to bribery and cronyism.

State Bar sets hearing over misleading claims in Yolo judicial race

Published: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 6:56 am

Former Yolo County prosecutor Clinton Parish will face a State Bar Court judge in July on ethics charges stemming from mudslinging in his failed campaign for the Yolo bench last spring.

The case is one of only two to proceed to a State Bar hearing since 2000, State Bar officials said Tuesday.

The three-day bench trial before Judge Patrice McElroy is set for July 16 through July 18 at the State Bar of California offices in San Francisco, officials said.

Parish's ability to practice law could be at stake, as possible penalties range from a reprimand to disbarment.

The longtime deputy district attorney's law-and-order stance during his Yolo Superior Court campaign won early backing from Yolo's law enforcement community. But Parish saw that support vanish late in the race after he targeted his opponent, sitting Yolo Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire, with misleading campaign mailers.

Maguire, a former legal aide to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was appointed by the governor to the Yolo bench in 2010.

Parish tried to tie Maguire to Schwarzenegger's controversial January 2011 commutation of a prison sentence for Esteban Núñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. Parish also alleged that Maguire was involved in corporate bribery while at a Colorado law firm in the 1990s.

Maguire said the claims were false, and Parish later acknowledged he did not thoroughly vet his accusations.

Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, state Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, and Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig withdrew their endorsements in the campaign mailers' wake.

State Bar attorneys allege Parish knowingly misrepresented Maguire in the mailers.

But in a response filed with the State Bar, Parish denied a number of allegations and explained away others as the mistakes of a neophyte campaigner who relied too heavily on his consultants.

Parish left the Yolo County District Attorney's Office in November, and he said in State Bar filings that he has since moved from Yolo County.

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Darrell Smith



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