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Judicial elections are often the hardest for voters to sort out. These races have the lowest visibility, without the usual partisan or rhetorical cues for voters to discern who might actually be worthy of their vote.

In the case of San Bernardino County’s Judge of the Superior Court, Office 15, voters are presented two choices:

  • Michelle A. Lauron, San Bernardino County supervising deputy district attorney.
  • Dieter Carlos Dammeier, administrative law judge, California Employment Insurance Appeals Board

As this editorial board has in the past, we must warn voters against casting a vote for Dieter Carlos Dammeier.

Below, we present our warning to voters published in the Press-Enterprise in 2016:

“There’s a familiar name on the primary ballot: Dieter Dammeier, who’s running for a vacancy on the San Bernardino County Superior Court.

This is the same attorney Dieter Dammeier:

• who ran unsuccessfully for Rancho Cucamonga City Council a decade ago with the intent of forging a council majority friendly to the interests of public safety unions;

• whose name still graces a downtown Upland building that once housed his law firm – Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir – which dissolved in 2013 during a scandal involving alleged fraudulent billing;

• who personally settled a police officer’s claim against Upland with then-City Manager Robb Quincey, who wound up getting fired over it. The settlement, involving Mr. Quincey’s own questionable personal behavior, was disguised as two separate settlements to stay under the threshold requiring review by the City Council;

• whose law firm was infamous for its hardball tactics against city leaders who were involved in negotiations with the police unions that the firm represented;

• who was on the board of the COP&FIRE political action committee when it sent a threatening letter to Claremont Councilman Corey Calaycay, trying to intimidate him into acquiescing to police union demands (He did not);

• whose dissolved law firm failed in an appellate court in May to block a lawsuit against it and the Costa Mesa police union by Costa Mesa Mayor Stephen Mensinger, accusing the union, the firm and private investigators hired by the firm of illegally planting a tracking device on his vehicle;

• whose dissolved law firm is fighting a lawsuit from another Costa Mesa councilman and his wife over alleged harassment for political gain. That suit alleges the union, the law firm and its investigators conspired to try to ruin the councilman by making a phony 911 call, claiming he was drunk. A former police union president testified last year that the union had paid Mr. Dammeier’s law firm to find dirt on two councilmen, fearing they would make cuts in the Police Department.

All in all, Mr. Dammeier’s resume of disreputable actions strikes us as something far short of judicial.

He is not the sort of attorney that we would like to see elevated to the bench.”

The only update of note is a legal update: “After five years of legal wrangling, the law firm has agreed to pay $607,500 to settle a civil suit alleging it illegally had a tracking device placed on a former mayor’s personal vehicle. The firm also was accused of having a private investigator falsely claim a council member was driving drunk.”

We further note that Lauron touts an impressive set of supporters who transcend the normal partisan divide, with every single member of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors supporting her campaign for judge.

She has been an impressive career prosecutor who has a track record free of the drama and scandal of Dieter Dammeier.

Elect Michelle Lauron to the bench. And please, don’t elect Dieter Carlos Dammeier to anything.