Judge Jim Gray’s retirement party draws a bipartisan crowd

Judge Jim Gray’s retirement party was held last night at the home of Tony and Freydel Bushala, in Fullerton.  The event drew a large, bipartisan crowd.  Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, a Republican, made a few opening comments, and got the crowd riled up.  Other Republicans in attendance included longtime Gray friend Dr. Reza Karkia, who is a member of the Orange County Lincoln Club; David Zenger, who is a member of the Orange County Planning Commission, and Dante Salazar, who heads up a chapter of the CRA in Garden Grove.

There were a few Democrats there too, including past Assembly and Garden Grove City Council candidate Paul Lucas and past SAUSD School Board candidate Irene Ibarra.

Ocean View School Board President Norm Westwell enjoys the show

And, as one might expect, there were a lot of Libertarians there too, including state officers Kevin Takenaga, Beau Cain and Zander Collier.  Ocean View School District Board President Norm Westwell was there too, along with O.C. Register editorial writer Steven Greenhut.  Rick Corbett, who is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, drove down from L.A., and a host of Libertarians joined us from the San Bernardino Party.

I also enjoyed meeting Gray’s wife, Dr. Grace Walker, who runs a physical therapy center in Orange.  Walker uses special laser therapy to resolve lingering muscle pain and inflammation that cannot be resolved in any other manner.

Libertarian Party Chairman Kevin Takenaga discusses the state of the party

The party was interrupted shortly after Norby arrived when a helicopter buzzed the Bushala home, complete with a spotlight!  Of course we all immediately called out Norby and said, “Sheriff Hutchens is spying on you again,” which was funny, but eerie as well.

The crowd watches a helicopter as it buzzes the party

The event itself was a treat.  We watched a wonderful program put together by Wayne Meyers and Beau Cain.  In that program we reviewed the truly amazing career of Judge Jim Gray, who was first sworn into the bench back in 1983.  Prior to that he served in the U.S. Peace Corps, in Costa Rica, where he learned Spanish, and in the U.S. Navy JAG, where he was a Judge Advocate and a criminal defense attorney.  Gray was also a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles before he became a Judge in Orange County.

Gray has also authored two books – the War on Drugs and Wearing the Robe.  And he was the force behind the establishment of the Peer Courts that have become popular in schools all over the country.  Gray has also been very active in stopping drunk driving.  He started a Drug Court that has been a great success in Orange County.  No wonder he has been hailed by folks from every political party!  His life’s work has made a huge impact on our society.

Gray ran for the U.S. Congress back in 1998, as a Republican, and for the U.S. Senate, in 2004, as a Libertarian.  Each time he sacrificed a lot by leaving the bench for a year.  The rest of the time he was prevented from participating in partisan activities by his work.  Now he is free to help the Libertarian Party, which is truly exciting.

You can read the rest of his bio at this link.

Gray also has his own website, his own blog, and he writes a regular column for the Daily Pilot, which covers news in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

Congratulations to Judge Gray and thanks to all who showed up last night to honor a truly great man.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.