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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Gets Probation for Taking Bribes

BUTTE, Mont. (CN) - A former state judge who pleaded guilty to takes bribes to dismiss traffic and misdemeanor tickets was sentenced to 5 years of probation, federal prosecutors said.

Steve Kambich, 53, of Butte, was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and serve 200 hours of community service.

Kambich, a former judge for the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow, pleaded guilty to felony bribery. He admitted he took money from defendants in at least 10 cases he heard between 2008 and 2009.

Prosecutors said Kambich's 2008 bank records showed $13,900 in unexplained cash deposits.

In January 2008, Kambich took $250 to dismiss a ticket for failure to have insurance, and dismissed a speeding ticket on the condition that the defendant place Kambich's campaign sign on his property, prosecutors said in a statement.

Kambich dismissed another no-insurance ticket that month for $400, crossing out "Butte Silver Bow" on the check's information line and entering his name instead.

He took $300 in cash to dismiss a ticket for driving on a suspended license in July of 2009 and faxed documentation to state officials to get the license reinstated, prosecutors said.

After being questioned by federal agents in July 2011, Kambich admitted taking the bribes, which he said were for $100 to $300 apiece.

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