Lester Hayes had been a municipal court judge since 2000 until he was suspended in November by the Court of Judiciary for imprisoning people who couldn’t afford to pay certain fines, bad record keeping, and delegating debt collection to an outside company. The suspension was meant to last 11 months.
The official complaint reads: “Judge Hayes undermined the public’s confidence in the integrity, independence, and impartiality of the judiciary, particularly by exercising a municipal judge’s authority, i.e., incarceration, without adhering to the most basic of judicial duties and law,”
However Mayor Todd Strange is having the suspended Judge help him with legal advice and help the office of city investigations with some legal matters.
Mayor Strange defended the move, citing the “vast knowledge” Hayes has, and saying that he is not working as a Judge, or as an attorney.
The contract pays Hayes $6,500 a month.