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Legal Ethics

Clerks’ Claimed Handling of Call During China Trip Creates Trouble for Judge

Posted Jun 18, 2012 6:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A newspaper article last year about a Missouri judge whose clerks reportedly handled much of her call while she was on vacation in China has sparked not only a rare disciplinary hearing but a related criminal investigation.

Witness subpoenas are being sent out by the Missouri Supreme Court's Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline concerning a July 31 hearing about Associate Circuit Judge Barbara T. Peebles, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Meanwhile, a prosecutor in the office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says a criminal investigation has been launched concerning a missing document.

Last year's newspaper article mentioned a document filed by a public defender complaining about the way Peebles' call was handled during her China trip. However, it could not be found in the court file, according to prosecutor Rachel Smith.

An attorney for the judge did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "As Judge Vacationed in China, Clerks Issued Warrants and Continuances"

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