HARRISBURG - State judicial ethics prosecutors filed charges Friday against a central Pennsylvania magisterial district judge who recently admitted going into the state computer system to dismiss her own traffic citations.
The Judicial Conduct Board's five-count complaint against Lancaster City District Judge Kelly Ballentine included the transcript from a court proceeding earlier this month in which she pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of tampering with public records or information.
Ballentine, 44, a lawyer, has the right to respond. If the Court of Judicial Discipline finds the allegations are proven, she will face penalties that could include removal from office. She has been suspended with pay for the past 12 months.
The ethics counts include allegations she engaged in conduct that brings the judicial office into disrepute, and that she acted in a way to prejudice the proper administration of justice.
A phone message to her attorney was not immediately returned.
When Ballentine pleaded guilty to the criminal charges on Feb. 1, her defense lawyer told the judge that around the time she was fixing her own tickets - two for parking, one for an expired registration - she also was paying other tickets.