DeKalb Judge Clarence Seeliger: "We should be willing to take the punishment"

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DeKalb Judge Clarence Seeliger: "We should be willing to take the punishment"

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Brant Sanderlin
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger said judges need more training on their disclosure requirements, but made no excuses for not meeting deadlines or paying penalties. “We do impose sanctions against other people for failing to perform, so if we don’t perform, we should be willing to take the punishment,” he said. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger says local judges need more training on ethics laws that apply to them, following an investigation that revealed more than half of metro Superior Court judges have been fined for failing to meet ethics disclosure requirements.

“We do impose sanctions against other people for failing to perform, so if we don’t perform, we should be willing to take the punishment,” Seeliger told reporters for the Georgia News Lab, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

In the past five years 37 of 50 Superior Court judges in metro Atlanta acquired thousands of dollars in fines for not filing legally required statements about outside income sources and donations from campaign contributors, an investigation by the news groups found. More than half of the DeKalb Superior Court judges fall into that category of disclosure failure.

“I’m just dumbfounded,” Seeliger said. “I think when the attention’s brought to them, they ought to be paying as soon as possible. That’s part of our responsibilities as judges.”

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