School briefs for Feb. 19, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Westbank Quarterback Club -- Judge Dennis Waldron

A trio of familiar faces will fill the shoes of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Byron C. Williams while Williams is being investigated for allegations of groping and making off-color comments.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Monday appointed retired Judges Dennis Waldron, Calvin Johnson and Jerome Winsberg to serve as temporary judges for the court’s Section G for a month each.

Waldron will serve through Aug. 5, then Johnson through Aug. 31 and Winsberg through Sept. 30, according to orders signed by Justice Greg Guidry.

Those directives came the same day that the court approved a suspension for Williams, who is the subject of a Judiciary Commission probe that has been going on for months.

Waldron sat as a Criminal District Court judge for more than a quarter century before his retirement in 2008, attaining near-legendary status for his early start times and passion for the job.

This won’t be the first time he’s taken over for a New Orleans judge facing problems. Waldron was also appointed on a temporary basis when the Supreme Court sidelined Judge Frank Marullo in 2015 over concerns that he exceeded the statutory age limit.

Johnson served as a judge for 17 years before retiring in 2008. He recently served as former Mayor Mitch Landrieu's criminal justice commissioner.

Winsberg retired as a Criminal District Court judge in 1996 and briefly mounted a run for district attorney that year.

Williams, 63, a former federal prosecutor who first won election to the bench in 2014, has denied the allegations against him through an attorney. One claim is that he groped a female clerk who works for a different judge; another is that he made off-color comments from the bench.

Williams’ interim suspension came at his request. The suspension — which comes with pay — began on Saturday and has no end date.


Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432