Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended a Magistrate of Jasper County for conduct arising out of the failure to reconcile court bank accounts. The magistrate had attended training sessions on financial accounting obligations but "knowingly did not comply with [the requirements]' in two particulars. After delegating responsibility for the accounts to a court employee, the magistrate was directed to provide the Chief Magistrate with bank reconciliation paperwork. When the employee was asked to produce the records, she "became irate, left for lunch, and never returned to the office." The magistrate then discovered that all deposits were not being made into the accounts. A bank bag containing cash and undeposited checks was found in the employee's desk drawer. A review found a shortage of over $15,000.
The magistrate had relied solely on the employee for an extended period without proper supervision. A 90 day suspension was imposed. (Mike Frisch)