Lassen County Superior Court Judge Tony Mallery, right, debates former Lassen County District Attorney Robert Burns in October 2012. File photo

A defiant Mallery answers the Commission on Judicial Performance’s allegations

According to the Respondents Verified Answer to Notice of Formal Proceedings obtained by Lassen News, Lassen County Superior Court Judge Tony Mallery threw down the gauntlet with an unrepentant, blistering and accusatory 177-page response to the Commission on Judicial Performance’s formal inquiry into his conduct.

According to the introduction to the judge’s response, “Judge Mallery’s actions were lawful, ethical and consistent with his duties as judge, both presiding and associate. Nothing Judge Mallery did violated the law, rules or judicial cannons; and instead, the facts show that Judge Mallery honorably upheld his duties despite tremendous community pressure and systemic challenges.”

The judge attacked Lassen County’s infamous rumor mill in which “unfounded rumor and innuendo spread rapidly. The rumor and innuendo leave destruction in its wake, and the effects are real, and lives are being ruined. This is exactly what is happening with this case. Certain residents in Lassen harbor grudges against Judge Mallery, and they are using the commission to advance their personal and improper attacks on him. This has caused Judge Mallery great professional harm, but it has also negatively affected his health and wellbeing.

“The ongoing community attacks against Judge Mallery come as no surprise, but the willingness of the commission to advance these false rumors does. It is Judge Mallery’s informed opinion, which he documents in this answer, that the commission has become embroiled in Lassen community disputes, and it is acting as a proxy for those who unfairly seek to harm him. What other conclusion could he or a reasonable factfinder reach? Since taking the bench, Judge Mallery has been under constant scrutiny by this commission and despite having previously found nothing that would support Judge Mallery’s removal from office, the commission continued to investigate.”

The judge notes that more than two years have passed since the commission launched its investigation which “accuses Judge Mallery of  having violated Judicial Cannons without providing any meaningful analysis.”

Mallery notes the commission knows he “cannot meaningfully review the voluminous records the commission claims are evidence of the truth … Instead Judge Mallery must rely on his memory and simply recall and state the truth as he knows it. This answer is just that — the truth.”

The judge also acknowledges he has neither the resources nor the power of the commission and that “witnesses will appear and offer false testimony against him, as they have done to the commission during the investigation. He expects that regardless of the issues with their case, the commission will proceed and seek his removal. However, with the truth on his side, Judge Mallery knows that if the factfinder comes to this proceeding with an open mind, with the curiosity for the truth which the commission lacks, and with the caution required to weigh all the evidence, he will be exonerated and should be permitted to remain on the bench.”

According to the conclusion of Mallery’s response, “This Notice of Formal Proceedings is the product of a commission who had a goal in mind and is willing to accept obviously false or misleading testimony. The commission only followed up on leads that they believed would support their case against Judge Mallery. They interpreted their findings in the worst possible light to Judge Mallery without consideration of possible scenarios, and the result shows. While Judge Mallery loathes the idea of having to defend himself at hearing, he looks forward to setting the record straight, clearing his name and for the truth to be known.”

Mallery offered detailed responses to all 21-counts of misconduct alleged by the commission in his lengthy response to the charges.