Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep, who was sworn in last week after a life suing on behalf of far-right-wing causes, has been assigned to Dept. 3, a courtroom handling misdemeanor cases.
Kreep made national news after he eked out a narrow victory in the June 2012 election over a seasoned prosecutor. As a lawyer and founder of the United States Justice Foundation, Kreep has made a name for himself as a defender of the Minutemen, an ardent opponent of gay rights and one of the foremost figures of the "Birther" movement, which believes President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is therefore ineligible for the presidency.
Misdemeanor court wasn't Kreep's first choice; he had expressed a desire to preside over a family-law courtroom.
According to the court's website, Kreep will handle "city jail arraignment" hearings, but court spokesperson Karen Dalton tells us via email that it covers a little bit more:
In Central Division – Dept. 3 handles - Misdemeanor in custody arraignments, bail reviews and miscellaneous misdemeanor post judgment proof and review matters.
Sandra Berry, who previously served as a court commissioner in Dept. 3, explained it in more detail for the city of San Diego's Serial Inebriate Program website:
Department 3 is called "video arraignment" court and currently handles the vast majority of cases involving defendants arrested for being drunk in public under P.C. 647(f) and for illegal lodging under P.C. 647(e). Few, if any, of these defendants are able to post bail upon arrest and therefore male defendants come before me via video at the Central Jail in downtown San Diego. Female defendants are bussed to the courthouse from Las Colinas every day for arraignment, trial or sentencing and appear in person in Department 3. A vast majority of these defendants are homeless and destitute and therefore the Office of the Public Defender represents the vast majority of these defendants by providing coverage both at the jail and in the courtroom on a daily basis. The San Diego Office of the City Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of all misdemeanors within the City limits.