Times Article on Judge Takasugi

After reading The Times article (Feb. 10) on Judge Robert Takasugi and his past association with Jaye Uribe, I was dismayed as to why this article was written and angered that it was published.

It was readily apparent to me that The Times had no journalistic interest in exposing the alleged financial improprieties of Uribe. The article was of "media interest" because Uribe's actions were somehow associated with a federal district court judge, whose sole involvement was limited to trusting a real estate broker.

What the article failed to make clear was the fact that, aside from the purported victims of Uribe's actions, Judge Takasugi was, himself, a victim. The judge's reputation was blemished despite the overwhelming evidence supplied by the article that Uribe's actions were done without the consent or knowledge of Judge Takasugi. The question then that must be asked is why The Times felt compelled to publish the story, devoting a substantial part of the Metro section to the story and printing a large conspicuous photograph of Judge Takasugi on its front page.

The tragic result of this article is that it leaves the reader with the impression that Judge Takasugi turned a "blind eye" to the alleged antics of Uribe, or at best, was unconcerned with the problems. Nothing could be so misleading.

I have known the judge for 17 years in both a professional and personal capacity, and I can say without any hesitation that it is a privilege to know Judge Takasugi.

His concern for justice and equality for the socially and financially disadvantaged is reflected in his unselfish giving of his time and energy to their causes. He is a recipient of many honors and awards, and deservedly so. This past year, he received the Minority Bar Assn.'s "Distinguished Merit" award.

These awards and honors, however, do not truly give credit to all the things he has done in the name of justice and fair play. He is responsible for organizing the first statewide Minority Bar conference and the many others that have followed. In addition to setting a fine example of judicial leadership, he has tutored Minority Bar applicants without charge for 20 years.

It is a shame that the article unjustly attempts to tarnish Judge Takasugi, whose reputation is truly beyond reproach. It is only hoped that what I have written might, in some way, rectify the situation created by the article.


Los Angeles

Yamaki is past president of the Japanese American Bar Assn.

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