August 9, 2011
A municipal court judge was suspended for 30 days and reprimanded by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The judge's sister was a town clerk. The sister embezzled funds over a eight-year period by issuing checks in the judge's name and forging her signature. The judge was not aware of or involved in these crimes.
The sister also issued a series of checks payable to the judge from the police department victim's assistance fund. The police chief approved the checks for the judge's extra work. The judge believed that the checks were legitimate salary supplements. At the time, the judge was paid $100 per month for her part-time duties.
The judge received 43 checks over a four-year period in amounts that totaled $4,890. She was "unaware it would be improper for her to receive supplemental payments from the police department that prosecuted cases in front of her."
There was no allegation that the payments had affected her rulings. (Mike Frisch)
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