Local/State

AG: Downingtown judge concealed son's citation

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A district judge from Chester County has resigned after being charged with records tampering and obstruction in the handling of a case involving her son.

Magisterial District Judge Rita Arnold of Downingtown had received a one-month suspension last year from the state Court of Judicial Discipline.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said it all began on January 19, 2010, after an altercation at Arnold's home between her sons.

As a result of the altercation, one of her sons was issued a summary offense citation, which was filed the following day by a state trooper in Arnold's court, Kane said.

Then, investigators say, Arnold kept the citation out of the system for 2½ months in an effort to protect her son from trouble with the county probation department.

Then, Kane said, Arnold transferred the case to another judge without telling the county president judge about the conflict of interest.

Defense attorney Heidi Eakin said Tuesday 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.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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pennsylvania, chester county, local/state
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