State Bar asks judge to force ex-employees to testify about Girardi’s sway in the agency

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The State Bar of California is taking two former employees to court in a bid to force them to divulge what they know about suspected corruption at the agency that allowed Tom Girardi to avoid discipline for decades.

In a pair of filings in recent days in Los Angeles County Superior Court, lawyers for the State Bar wrote that the former employees were believed to have “information relevant to the investigation” but had flouted subpoenas issued in July directing them to testify under oath.

In seeking a judge’s order to compel them to submit to questioning, the State Bar did not name the former employees. Instead, the lawyers identified each only as a “confidential witness” in what agency lawyers said was an attempt to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

Inquiry-related interviews and correspondence reviewed by The Times indicate that one of the former employees is Tom Layton, a once-prominent State Bar investigator who had a close friendship with Girardi while the lawyer was the subject of numerous ethics complaints.

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