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Government Law

City Put Municipal Judge Under Surveillance in Residency Probe, Found She Rarely Spent Night at Home

Posted Nov 4, 2011 10:21 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Kansas City municipal judge owns a home within the city limits and is registered to vote there.

However, Judge Elena Franco rarely spent the night at home, the city determined after hiring a private detective and putting her under 24-hour surveillance, reports the Kansas City Star. She has been suspended without pay pending a further investigation of the residency question; municipal judges are required to reside within the city.

Franco said in a written statement provided to the newspaper yesterday that "overwhelming evidence" shows she is a resident of the city. She also said an internal auditor’s report "intentionally misstates both the facts and the law.”

The report found that Franco spent much more time at the home her husband owns outside the city than at her own home, and stayed at her city home only one night out of 41, the newspaper says.

A residence is defined as "the place where a person has his true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning,” under a city ordinance.

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