A Forsyth County judge is being investigated on charges of professional and ethical misconduct.
The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission is investigating Forsyth District Judge Denise Hartsfield after complaints that she gave favorable judgments to friends, acquaintances, and fellow church members in 22 cases.
Those cases included dismissing cases, lowering or outright dismissing traffic tickets and even removing court costs and fees.
Hartsfield has been a District Court Judge in Forsyth County for 12 years. She was last re-elected in November 2010.
Former district attorney Tom Keith first made a complaint to the SBI in 2008. The SBI did not find criminal wrongdoing, but on March 1 the commission began investigating whether Hartsfield committed professional and ethical misconduct.
The commission will hold a hearing at a later date, though no date has been set. A seven-member panel will determine whether the case should be sent to the North Carolina Supreme Court for further evaluation. If found guilty of ethical violations of misconduct, Hartsfield could face suspension of removal from office.
Hartsfield's attorney, David Freedman said he will respond to the charges later this month, but his client will not comment before the hearing. The Judicial Standards Commission also did not comment.