NEVADA CITY, Calif. (CN) – Nevada County residents plan to recall two Nevada County Superior Court judges, according to the local newspaper, The Union.
One Judge, Julie McManus, reportedly faces recall because she has been on medical leave since March 3. The other, Candace Heidelberger, has been widely criticized over what many perceive as too-lenient sentencing of a child molester last week, the Union reported. Although Presiding Judge Thomas Anderson also was criticized for his sentencing in a child molestation case last week, he will not face recall because the state will not allow it within six months of the end of a term, according to The Union.
A group planning to start the recall process would gather 20 to 40 signatures and then file a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition, said The Union.
It has cost the court at least $125,000 to cover McManus’ absence, and “she is widely considered to be an angry, unpredictable judge,” the notice reads. “She is notorious for pressuring parents … (She) routinely told parents that if their differences were not resolved in mediation, their children might commit suicide or be placed in foster care. The simple truth is that McManus cannot be allowed to return to the bench.”
Heidelberger sentenced a man, Robert DeMatteis, to a year in jail and five years probation, and required him to complete a treatment program and register as a sex offender. DeMatteis had pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor younger than 14 and one count of possession of child pornography. He originally faced eight counts of sexual abuse and two counts of child porn after the alleged victim, who is now 17, reported he had molested her between January 2007 and December 2009.