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Tax and ethics charges against Jefferson County judge dismissed

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A judge has dismissed the indictment charging a Jefferson County judge with 56 counts of tax evasion and ethics violations for allegedly depositing campaign donations into a personal account and failing to report the income.

Claud Neilson, the retired Marengo County judge who was assigned to the case, said in his order that the indict ment against Circuit Judge Dan King was not returned in open court as is required by the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure and state law.

“The courtroom where the grand jury was meeting was not open to the public,” Neilson said in his order.

“The entry doors were locked by the bailiff so that the public could not freely enter the courtroom.”

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Chris Bence, a spokesman for Attorney General Troy King, said, “the indictment was returned in open court and complied with the law.”

Bence said this “technical violation” did not prejudice the rights of Dan King, who is not related to the attorney general.

Bence said the attorney general’s office is “committed to moving forward with this case and our prosecutors will explore all available options, including re-presenting to a future grand jury.”

“I’m ready to get back to work and serve the people,” said Dan King, a Bessemer circuit judge.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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