Recall

By Emily Foxhall
May 4, 2015

A group behind the effort to recall an Orange County Superior Court judge filed the necessary paperwork Monday with the county’s Registrar of Voters to get the process underway.

Judge M. Marc Kelly has come under fire in recent weeks for what some say was an inappropriate sentencing of a convicted child molester.

Kelly handed down a shorter-than-required prison term — 10 years instead of the legal minimum of 25 — in early April, explaining that the guilty 20-year-old seemed remorseful and didn’t fit the profile of a sexual predator.

The Orange County district attorney’s office has appealed the case, and several lawyers stepped forward to say that the judicial process should be allowed to evaluate the sentencing without the interference of politics.

But a group of incensed activists want Kelly gone, and their charge has been supported by the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ call for Kelly’s resignation.

Bryan Scott, who started a Facebook page to draw attention to the issue; Patricia Wenskunas, founder and chief executive of Crime Survivors Inc.; and several crime victims approached Kelly’s 10th-floor courtroom Friday morning to serve him the notice of the intent to recall him, Scott said. Getting the recall process going provided a sense of accomplishment, Scott said, but he noted that it felt akin to taking a “first step onto a boat for a long journey.”

Getting the recall process going provided a sense of accomplishment, Scott said, but he noted that it felt akin to taking a “first step onto a boat for a long journey.”

“It’s going to be a very daunting task,” said Scott, who has been asking for volunteers and monetary contributions through a website, recalljudgemarckelly.com.

Attorney Paul Meyer, president of the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Assn., who has argued against the recall, reiterated his concern about the initiative in a prepared statement.

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