A judicial performance panel admonished a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge for delaying sentencing in three cases, giving the appearance she was circumventing the sheriff’s department’s early release program and “disregarding the defendants’ fundamental rights,” it was announced Thursday.

The state Judicial Performance Commission issued a statement saying it admonished Judge Carol Williams Elswick “for improperly remanding and delaying sentencing of defendants in three separate misdemeanor probation cases.”

“This delay conveyed the appearance that Judge Elswick was circumventing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s early release program, and disregarding the defendants fundamental rights, resulting in deprivation of liberty,” according to the statement.

The panel also found that Elswick “improperly responded to a peremptory challenge …, was discourteous to several criminal defendants and improperly referenced her personal experiences when discussing the ability of some defendants to pay fines.”

The commission is composed of six public members, three judges and two lawyers.

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