The Attorney General's Office will not pursue criminal charges against Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner, who was accused by a former law school student of being coerced into having sex with him, the judge's attorney said this week.
"The Attorney (General's Office) made the right call," the judge's attorney, Paul S. Meyer, said Thursday. "Judge Steiner is innocent. He has been forthright and candid.
"We are pleased that this blatant extortion attempt has been rejected and the overly long investigation finally confirms his innocence."
Meyer declined to comment on whether Steiner faces any discipline by The State Bar of California.
In May, the California Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board rejected the accuser's claim of at least $1 million in damages.
The claim alleged that she "was coerced into sexual relations with Judge Scott Steiner of Orange County" and listed allegations of assault, emotional trauma, negligence, discrimination, battery, loss of job opportunities, harassment and retaliation.
The state agency rejected the claim because it said it had no jurisdiction over the judicial branch of government.
Anne Gordon, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the Judicial Council has jurisdiction on claims against the judicial branch.
The dispute between the woman and Steiner led to an Orange County Sheriff's Department investigation earlier this year. All the evidence in the case was turned over to the Attorney General's Office because the Orange County District Attorney's Office declared a conflict of interest.
Steiner, a former prosecutor who was elected as a judge in 2010, was transferred during the attorney general's probe from the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana to handling small claims court cases at the North Justice Center in Fullerton.
Meyer earlier characterized the judge's relationship with his accuser as a "consensual relationship between Judge Steiner and a female lawyer in her 30s, who had completed his Chapman University post-graduate class. The relationship ended last year when it was discovered by her husband. There was never any complaint to law enforcement."
In May, Steiner, through Meyer, earlier said he regretted his "lapse of judgement and apologized to his family shortly after the relationship ended nearly a year ago.
Seven months later, in January, a threatening letter was sent to Chapman University warning that disparaging claims about the affair would come to light if money was not paid.
"The letter was filled with lies, which Judge Steiner absolutely denies," Meyer said.