Judge Pleads Guilty to Mishandling Son's Case

By Dan Stamm and AP
|  Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 9:33 AM EDT
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Judge Pleads Guilty to Mishandling Son's Case

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An area judge has admitted that she tampered with records and obstructed justice in an attempt to protect her son.

Former Magisterial District Judge Rita Arnold, 56, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of tampering with records or identification and one count of obstruction administration of law or other governmental function.

Arnold, who used to preside over court in Downingtown, Chester County, Pa., concealed a citation issued to her son for 2 ½ months before putting it in the court system.

She had staffers keep a 2010 citation against her son out of the system in an effort to protect him from trouble with the county probation department then transferred the case to another judge without telling the county president judge about the conflict of interest, according to officials.

Defense attorney Heidi Eakin said when Arnold was charged earlier this year that her client has taken full responsibility for her actions and is "incredibly sorry," and hopes to expedite the process to avoid harm to the judiciary.

Arnold will be sentenced July 23.

 


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