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Judge accused of dismissing own parking tickets is dismissed

A Pennsylvania judge faces criminal charges for allegedly dismissing traffic tickets against herself that included expired registration on her BMW, the state's attorney general said on Monday.

Magisterial District Judge Kelly Ballentine, 43, of Lancaster, faces conflict of interest, tampering with public records and obstruction charges in the case, Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

Lancaster police issued two tickets to Ballentine in November 2010 for parking violations in front of her home. She got a third ticket for out-of-date registration on her BMW sedan, the statement said.

Ballentine failed to pay the tickets on time and summonses were mailed to her. The judge then accessed the online court system records and dismissed the summonses, which had been issued in her name, it said.

Ballentine was arraigned on Monday and released on $25,000 bond, the statement said.

Ballentine was not immediately available to comment.

According to the Lancaster New Era website, Ballentine was put on paid leave until the criminal charges, nine of which are felony charges, are resolved.

Pennsylvania's judicial conduct rules require judges to disqualify themselves in proceedings where they are a party, the Lancaster paper reported.

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