Indicted judge faces tough legal challenges

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 6:00 PM

Dennis Woltering / Eyewitness News
Email: dwoltering@wwltv.com | Twitter: @dwoltering

NEW ORLEANS – Juvenile Court Judge Yolanda King’s bond was set at $30,000 Monday for two felony charges involving the Louisiana election code.

King pleaded not guilty to both charges she faces – filing and maintaining false public records.

Both of the charges are felony charges. One is punishable by two years in prison, the other up to five years.

The case has grown out of allegations and evidence uncovered in a series of Eyewitness News investigations in 2013 that King actually lived in St. Tammany Parish when she campaigned for and won a seat on the Orleans juvenile bench.

Kings affidavit, sworn to and filed with the Orleans clerk of court’s office said she lived in a house on Stillwater Drive in New Orleans East.

The house allegedly belongs to King’s sister and brother-in-law.

In fact, since 2007, King had been receiving a homestead exemption on a house on Chancer Lane in Slidell.

After the news reports aired, she had the homestead exemption removed.

Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino said King will be allowed to continue as juvenile court judge as the case plays out.

“I would expect if she’s ever found guilty of a felony, the sanction the Supreme Court would ultimately impose would be removal from office,” he said.

Ciolino also said that even if King is found to be innocent, she faces even more challenges.

“If she’s acquitted, the judiciary commission would still have authority to investigate independently the allegations and perhaps to pursue them.”

Ciolino added that the judiciary could decide to remove Kiing from her office, even if she wins in court.

After Monday’s hearing, she was allowed to leave the court through a back exit. Her trial is set for April 25.

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