The Orange County Board of Supervisors. From left: Michelle Steel, Shawn Nelson, Todd Spitzer, Lisa Bartlett, and Andrew Do. (Photos by Nick Gerda and Katlin Washburn)

The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday will vote on appointing retired Superior Court Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto-Schumann as the third member of the new Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

Nomoto-Schumann was admitted to the state bar in 1973 and became a judge in 1979, the first Asian-American judge to serve on the Orange County bench and the second-longest sitting judge when she retired in January 2013.

She is Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s nominee to the ultimately five-member ethics commission that was approved by 70 percent of Orange County voters in June 2016, but still hasn’t been fully formed by the supervisors.

Nomoto-Schumann completed her undergraduate degree in history and graduated from law school at UC Berkeley and now works as a lecturer on community property and family law at UC Irvine’s law school.

According to UCI’s website, Nomoto-Schumann disposed of more than 500 backlogged cases as a judge in the Fullerton North Justice Center and handled several high-profile cases including the “Night Stalker” case where serial killer Richard Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders and 30 other charges in the 1980s.

Nomoto-Schumann’s nomination will be confirmed along with the rest of the consent calendar at Tuesday’s board meeting, unless the supervisors choose to discuss it. Her resume and application can be seen here.

The first two ethics commissioners were appointed earlier this summer and the commission’s director was appointed in March but the group has yet to meet.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s nominee, Peter Agarwal, falsely claimed he was on the governing board of a national association. Supervisor Michelle Steel’s nominee H. Josh Ji, a lawyer who was admitted to the California bar in December.

Jose Ochoa is a Voice of OC intern. Contact him at

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