Judge Yew Makes False Claims That Secret Meetings for Santa Clara Insiders Were Public

Santa Clara Superior Court judge Erika Yew at a 2017 CJP meeting. (Robert J Hansen)

By Robert J Hansen

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Erica Yew seemed to falsely state that the Bar Bench Media Police (BBMP) Committee is open to the public at a Commission for Judicial Performance meeting in November.

The BBMP Committee has no records of public agendas, minutes and attendance were by invitation only, according to records obtained through an official request.

When concerns were raised by investigative journalist, Susan Bassi, Yew interrupted her public comment to defend the BBMP.

“I was never a member of that committee although Judge Overton shared it with me. It’s not a secret committee, it’s a public committee. It’s well attended, lots of people go,” Yew said.

The interaction can be viewed here.

The court used public money to pay for these meetings, and invited state and federal judges, along with private businesses including JAMS, San Jose Mercury and NBC employees.

One of several records shows a sample of one of the BBPM committee dinners/meetings.

Yew once sat on the Commission for Judicial Performance, whose purpose is to provide oversight and accountability to California judges.

Yew, who currently is a member of the Committee of Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO), displayed her ability to seem agreeable while making statements when she defended CJP when it was audited in 2017.

CJP fought the audit’s recommendations and at a 2017 hearing, Yew’s statements seem compliant.

“We were not able to come to a resolution with the issue that is the primary concern to us of confidentiality so we felt between a rock and a hard place because we felt we could not release the confidentiality of the holders,” Yew said at a 2017 hearing.

She said they needed court adjudication to help them with adhering to the Constitutional mandate to maintain confidentiality and hold those in power accountable.

“I’ve been in hearings where we know the complainants … because when you’re doing investigations of individuals with a lot of power and who can abuse that power, you have to let those complainants be confidential to a certain point so you can investigate,” Yew said.

About The Author

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Robert is covering the Yolo County DA's race for the Vanguard.

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