Criminal Justice

Ex-clerk known as 'Judge Whitney' takes plea in case over unauthorized access to court records

A former deputy court clerk has taken a plea in a criminal case over her claimed unauthorized access to Missouri court and law enforcement database records.

Whitney Tyler, 28, pleaded guilty to some of the misdemeanor charges and no contest to others, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. If she successfully completes her six-month probation, her record will be expunged.

Dubbed “Judge Whitney” by some who frequented the courtroom overseen by her boss, Tyler was put in the spotlight when Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles came under fire for seemingly leaving clerks, including Tyler, in charge of her call as the jurist vacationed in China several years ago.

The charges against Tyler were filed just five days after Peebles was suspended with pay in an unrelated legal ethics case, for allegedly abdicating her work duties, the newspaper recounts. The judge eventually received a six-month suspension, without pay, from the state supreme court last year.

Tyler was accused of accessing driver records without authorization nearly 50 times between 2011 and 2012, “at the request of a defense attorney, neighborhood friends and because she was curious about the individuals involved.”

The case resulted in a security review of court records access by Circuit Clerk Jane Schweitzer, the Post-Dispatch says.

See also: “Mo. Judge Who Had Clerks Handle Call While on Vacation in China Is Suspended with Pay From $109K Job” “Top Mo. Court Hears Case re Judge Whose Clerks Handled Her Call While She Vacationed in China”

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