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Ticket-Fixing, Disrobed Mich. Judge Now Faces Criminal Charges

Posted Feb 9, 2012 4:22 PM CDT
By Terry Carter

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A Michigan judge, booted off the bench last month by the state supreme court for a slew of transgressions, was charged this week with four felonies for some of those actions.

Former Jackson County district judge James Justin now faces as much as 20 years in prison and $40,000 in fines in the case brought by the Michigan attorney general’s office under the state’s “Misconduct in Office” statute.

The criminal matters concern then-Judge Justin’s dismissal of four traffic tickets issued to his wife–a kind of self-enrichment by a public official. The Judicial Tenure Commission, which recommended his removal from the bench, did not know of those violations until an investigation was underway into other instance of ticket fixing and favoritism by Justin, according to the Jackson Citizen-Patriot.

“The duration, scope, and sheer number of respondent’s substantial acts of misconduct are without precedent in Michigan judicial disciplinary cases,” the state supreme court wrote (PDF) last month in removing Justin from the bench.

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