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Pa. judge to face discipline over waving of gun

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ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A district justice from Erie should face professional discipline for waving a gun during a 2009 traffic dispute, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled.

The high court unanimously reversed on Wednesday a May 2011 decision by the state Court of Judicial Discipline, which acquitted District Judge Tom Carney of ethics charges. Justices sent the case back to the Court of Judicial Discipline to "determine the appropriate sanction" for Carney's behavior, the Erie Times-News reported.

The Supreme Court sided with the state Judicial Conduct Board, which prosecuted Carney in the ethics case and appealed the Court of Judicial Discipline's ruling.

"The board's observation that this sort of incident invites the view that judges appear to be above the law is especially apt here," wrote Chief Justice Ronald Castille. "People who brandish guns during road rage incidents should properly expect themselves to be viewed as exhibiting disreputable conduct."

Carney could face punishment ranging from a private reprimand to suspension to removal from his approximately $87,000-a-year post.

His attorney, David Ridge, told the newspaper he will emphasize Carney's "exemplary record of public service" when he goes before the Court of Judicial Discipline.

Carney pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct stemming from the accusations.

Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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