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Environmental Judge to Retire Amid Investigation
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- A Franklin Co. environmental judge is stepping down amid an investigation into an alleged impropriety.
Judge Harland Hale sent resignation letters to Gov. John Kasich, as well as the people of Franklin Co. on Thursday afternoon, stating his decision to retire on May 24, 2013. Hale's term is scheduled to end in January, 2016.
The judge's announcement comes as the Disciplinary Counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court conducts a probe into accusations that Hale fixed a speeding ticket for a lawyer who had represented him. Hale is also accused of falsely claiming that a prosecutor consented to the clearing of the ticket.
Hale has served as environmental judge since 2003, and states in his letter to the public that he plans to go into private law practice after he steps down from his elected position.
Hale did not mention the investigation in either of his resignation letters.