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Thread: Portsmouth chief magistrate guilty of malfeasance

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Portsmouth chief magistrate guilty of malfeasance

    This is scary: magistrates wield ENORMOUS power over all Virginians, such as keeping rogue cops out of our business, our homes, and gun owners out of jail. Yet, they can be corrupt, too:

    Portsmouth chief magistrate guilty of malfeasance
    The magistrate's office is responsible for signing arrest and search warrants and deciding whether criminal defendants should be released on bond or jailed. They also determine the amount of bond.

    Magistrates are supervised by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court.

    Reese supervised six magistrates in Portsmouth and four on the Eastern Shore, according to Katya N. Herndon, a spokeswoman for that state office.

    In May, another magistrate, Deborah L. Clark, 51, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of bribery. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3.

    According to court records, Clark was accused of taking cash and gifts from a bondsman in exchange for referrals of criminal defendants.

    Last week, Ulysses Stephenson Jr., 51, a Portsmouth bondsman, was charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

    According to federal documents, Stephenson is accused of giving cash to both Clark and a sergeant with the Portsmouth Sheriff's Office who has not been identified.
    Free advice: Don't ever ask a Magistrate about legal advice involving a weapon, such as: "Is it legal to open-carry a handgun in a city park?"

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Don't ask a Magistrate whether pointing your finger is brandishing a firearm either.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Wow, that's reassuring. Just posted on FB the other day how even people in high power are still human. Therefore, they cannot be fully trusted just because of a position of authority.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houser89 View Post
    Wow, that's reassuring. Just posted on FB the other day how even people in high power are still human. Therefore, they cannot be fully trusted just because of a position of authority.
    Magistrates are the weak link. No education requirements, no real training, often a part time job....the position is given out to bailiffs of retiring judges, ex cops, the chief magistrate in Hanover was a nasty old woman and a good part of her family worked for the Sheriff's Department.

    A few years ago there was a bill to reform the profession. It didn't get far. We can't require things, no one will take the job.

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