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Petty Offenses Leave Judge Looking at Prison

DALLAS (CN) - A former municipal court judge pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal investigators. Monica Lynn Corker, 49, of Kemp, was a municipal judge in Seven Points, a town of 140 about 55 miles southeast of Dallas. She faces up to 5 years in prison.

The ABA Journal reported that Corker was accused of pocketing money for court fines in exchange for dismissing the cases.

Prosecutors in Tyler Federal Court say Corker was asked if she had ever deleted entries concerning criminal misdemeanor cases pending before the court. Corker said she had deleted only entries that were duplicates or erroneous, a statement she knew to be untrue, prosecutors said in a statement.

Corker was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 3. A sentencing date has not been set.

State and federal investigators are looking into other instances of corruption in the tiny town, according to the ABA Journal.

Citing the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Journal reported that one woman said she was allowed to clean a City Council member's home rather than pay a traffic fine, and that "other city officials are accused of using municipal court funds to cash checks apparently provided to them by their private business customers, possibly in an effort to avoid depositing the money into bank accounts where it would be reflected as business income."

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