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Judicial watchdog probes court’s practice of cutting fines

ATLANTA (AP) — The agency that monitors Georgia’s judiciary is looking into the City of South Fulton Municipal Court’s practice of slashing fines for defendants who agree to register to vote.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Judicial Qualifications Commission’s director, Ben Easterlin, says it’s trying to determine whether any violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct have occurred.

The controversy came to light this month when South Fulton Solicitor LaDawn Jones disclosed on Twitter that defendants in the city’s Municipal Court had their fines reduced by $50 in exchange for registering to vote. Polls indicate that the state’s nationally watched governor’s race is extremely close.

The court’s chief judge, Tiffany Sellers, said Friday that she did not do anything wrong.

It’s unclear how many people took advantage of the discount offer.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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