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L.A. County judge indicted for bribery

July 9, 2009 11:22:48 AM PDT
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Harvey Silberman has been indicted for bribery by a grand jury, according to documents unsealed Wednesday. The California Attorney General's Office accuses Silberman of offering Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, and then-judicial opponent, Serena Murillo money to back out of the race for L.A. County Superior Court judge in 2008.

A source close to the investigation says Murillo did not take the bribe and instead reported it to authorities.

The indictment accuses Silberman of solicitation of money or valuable consideration to induce a person not to become a candidate for public office. Two of Silberman's political consultants are separately accused of offering Murillo money to quit.

Silberman is a former court commissioner who presided over the child custody hearings of actress Denise Richards and ex-husband Charlie Sheen. He won the seat on the bench by five points over Murillo.

Silberman has been disqualified from acting as a judge without loss of salary while felony charges are pending, a court spokesperson said Thursday.

Efforts by ABC7 to reach the judge Thursday were unsuccessful.

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