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Judge’s Former Lucrative Career as Court-Appointed Lawyer Spurs Audit

Posted Feb 24, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A new judge in Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta is giving up a lucrative career as a court-appointed indigent defense lawyer.

Judge Rodney Harris submitted more than $1 million in bills for work as a court-appointed lawyer between 2005 and 2010, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. In 2008, one of his busier years, he sought $240,000 for work representing indigent defendants mostly accused of misdemeanors. To earn that much money, Harris would have had to average 92 hours a week, the newspaper says.

The high legal bills have prompted an audit by the county. Harris became a new judge in January for the Recorder’s Court, which handles traffic citations and code violations.

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