Estates Judge Suspended for Second Time for Facebook Posts | South Carolina News
WALHALLA, SC (AP) – The South Carolina Supreme Court has suspended the Oconee County probate judge for 18 months for breaking court rules for the second time.
Kenneth “Kenny” Johns erroneously acted as a character witness in out-of-state legal proceedings and requested donations from the Red Cross on his publicly accessible Facebook page which identified him as a judge , the judges said in an order last week.
This is Johns’ second suspension for social media violation. In 2016, he was suspended for six months for a Facebook post suggesting the parents of a 19-year-old man were only worried about money when they struck a $ 2 million deal after their son was killed by the police. He also inappropriately published information about fundraising and endorsing a presidential candidate.
The order said Johns admitted to breaking the rules and accepted a sentence ranging from a reprimand to an 18-month suspension.
Estates judges are not required to be lawyers, but make decisions about how money and assets are distributed in estates and other legal actions.
Rules for judges prohibit them from asking for money or directly arguing for a case.
Johns also defended in 2017 the character of a South Carolina man involved in a legal issue, claiming the man had done nothing fraudulent with his mother’s money and sometimes wrote in all caps, according to the court order.
Court rules prohibit judges from voluntarily being character witnesses.
The 18-month suspension is due in part to Johns’ earlier punishment.
After this 2016 suspension, the judges wrote that Johns “submits that he is deeply embarrassed about the case and seeks to assure the Court that in the future he will not make any reference to anything involving his court and will refrain from making political messages or posting information about fundraising on Facebook or any other social media.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.