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Corruption Chronicles

Convicted Judge Sues State For Money

A disgraced Superior Court judge removed from the bench ten years ago after being convicted for corruption is actually suing the state retirement system for reducing his pension.

G. Dennis Adams was a Superior Court judge in San Diego California when he illegally accepted gifts from a lawyer and was subsequently found guilty of corruption. In 1995 he was permanently suspended from the bench, but he continued collecting paychecks because he had been a judge since 1979.

The 65-year-old former judge was charged with accepting more than $100,000 in gifts from an attorney named Patrick Frega in exchange for giving Frega favorable treatment in his lawsuits. Judge Adams was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, but ended up serving about half that time.

Now, the California Public Employees Retirement System has enraged the former judge by reducing his judicial pension by about 20%. State officials cited a 1988 law that forbids retirement benefits to judges convicted of a felony related to their official duties.

Ironically, Adams has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the reduction in the very courthouse where he once worked. The former judge currently receives a pension of $4,887.40 per month and has been fighting the state pension board decision at numerous hearings to no avail.


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