EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSQUESTIONABLE ACTIONS?
from Eyewitness News Online
Magistrate Dismisses Woman's Drug Charge, Then Hires Her
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: Brad Rice, Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Feb. 29, 2012 7:26 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 29, 2012 7:36 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A DUI and drug arrest could have much bigger implications. The woman arrested worked as a maid for Kanawha County Magistrate Carol Fouty and was driving Fouty's car, but it's what the magistrate did before and after the arrest that's raising some red flags.
Police say Melea Fisher was driving the magistrate's car while she was high and had prescription pills and marijuana in her purse.
"I never had any idea she had a drug problem, it shocked me," Fouty says.
But Magistrate Fouty should have known that Fisher had been arrested before for marijuana. Fisher was charged with simple possession on New Year's Eve, but unknown to the prosecutor's office and the arresting officer magistrate Fouty dismissed the charge about a month later, no reason given. Then a few days after dismissing the charge, Fouty hired Fisher to be her maid. Fouty says she hired Fisher because she knew her family and didn't realize she had dismissed a drug charge for her.
After Fisher's DUI arrest magistrate Fouty called the magistrate on duty and asked her to go easy on Fisher. Magistrate Julie Yeager didn't and Fisher remains in jail. Fouty says when she called she only thought her made was facing a traffic violation.
"There shouldn't be any favoritism whatsoever and that's why the rules of judicial ethics are in place," Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says.
When asked if there is an investigation into Fouty, Plants said he cannot comment on any case where there has not been an arrest made so he can't confirm or deny.
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