Judge recall supporters try to restart Yuba County effort
A recall effort launched last week against a Yuba County judge has already floundered.
However, supporters of the fledgling attempt to remove Judge Julia L. Scrogin said plans are in the works to start over.
Julius Engel, 55, a Sacramento attorney and unsuccessful Yuba County judicial candidate, confirmed petitioners did not complete the necessary paperwork to begin gathering signatures to place the issue on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
"There were some format issues and administrative technicalities with some of the signatures (on the petition) that couldn't be read," Engel said Thursday. "We're going to start over and re-serve (Scrogin) through the mail."
Engel ran earlier this year for the Yuba County Superior Court bench, losing to Ben Wirtschafter, who takes office in January. Engel also ran a failed campaign in 2010 for Sacramento County district attorney.
Engel said he is providing free legal advice to recall proponents.
"I would definitely consider (taking Scrogin's place)," Engel said. "I have been asked to by Ginger Hughes and others."
Hughes, a Brownsville resident behind the recall effort, acknowledged being angry with the judge for ruling against her in April in a foreclosure case. She blames the loss of her home on Scrogin, calling her everything from unfair and unprofessional to "very evil."
Hughes said she plans to restart the process next week.
"The team I have, we are not going to quit," she said. "We are going to take back this country, starting with the judges."
Hughes previously brushed off a question regarding possible vindictive motives against Scrogin and said her recall effort was supported by many people for many reasons.
"I'm not the only disgruntled person involved with this," Hughes said Thursday.
Sam Pierce, who also has history with Scrogin, served the notice of recall last week at the courthouse.
Scrogin was the prosecuting attorney in Sutter County in 1998 when Pierce was convicted on three counts of assault with a firearm. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to Sutter County Superior Court records.
However, Pierce said that past has no bearing on his decision to serve the paperwork last week and said he does not believe he is directly involved with the attempt to recall Scrogin.
"The mere fact I served the papers doesn't make me a part of it," Pierce said. "There's no vindictiveness on my part."
Pierce said he frequently serves legal documents to people as part of a business with which he is associated, though he did not receive payment for serving the Scrogin paperwork.
"Ginger approached me and asked me if I would serve it, and I said 'yes,'" Pierce explained.
Asked about the recall effort, Scrogin said, "Sometimes I think the best comment is no comment."
Scrogin, 49, was appointed in 2005 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to fill the vacancy left by Judge David E. Wasilenko, who retired in January 2005 during an ethics inquiry. She ran unopposed in 2008 and is up for re-election in 2014.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.