California judge who pocketed 2 cardholders agrees to resign

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California judge who agreed to resign after swiping two art deco-style business cardholders from a judges’ dinner in San Francisco said Monday that he remains deeply remorseful.

Napa County Superior Court Judge Michael S. Williams’ resignation will take effect Dec. 5, which is also when he can retire. He is 70.

The Commission on Judicial Performance on Monday announced its censure of Williams, saying his conduct last year seriously undermined public confidence in the judiciary.

“It was just a moment of ridiculous stupidity and I just don’t understand why I did it,” he told The Associated Press. “I really regret it completely.”

Williams was attending a dinner hosted by a matrimonial lawyers association in March 2016 when he pocketed two cardholders in the art deco decor of The City Club of San Francisco.

The holders contained the business cards of the club’s managers. They were each worth about $30 to $50.

The commission says Williams returned the cardholders after being informed that he was caught on video.

Williams has agreed not to seek or hold judicial office. He became a judge of Napa County in 2012.

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