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South Carolina high court scolds former Aiken judge for kiss

Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 2:57 PM
Last updated 7:11 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

COLUMBIA — Don’t show your professional gratitude by kissing an employee.

The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued a reprimand of a former Aiken County magistrate for making that mistake.

Donald Louis Hatcher admitted to kissing a clerk on the forehead at the end of a bond court session more than a year ago. He said the kiss wasn’t intended to be a romantic gesture and was only to show appreciation for the clerk’s hard work, according to the court’s reprimand, which was made public Wednesday.

Still, said the court, Hatcher “recognizes the clerk was offended by the gesture. (He) maintains he never would have intentionally offended the clerk, but acknowledges it was inappropriate for him to kiss a subordinate on the forehead.”

The clerk had complained about the incident to the chief magistrate, and Hatcher then resigned. His resignation took place in June 2012, according to records. The date of the offending kiss was not made public by the Office of Disciplinary Council, nor were other details provided.

In the agreement reached with the court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Hatcher admitted his behavior violated several judicial canons, including one that requires judges to “be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others” whom they interact with on the job.

South Carolina has about 300 magistrates, who are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the state Senate to serve a specific county. The judges are not required to be lawyers but must pass a certification examination within one year of their appointment. They set bail, conduct preliminary hearings, and issuing arrest and search warrants. The judges also have civil jurisdiction over disputes with less than $7,500 at stake and handle cases involving property damage and landlord-tenant disagreements.

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Sweet son
11649
Points
Sweet son 09/06/13 - 04:24 pm
6
0
Give Us a Break!!

This is not even news worthy. It is 'yellow' journalism! I guess this lady who cost the judge his bench wants publicity after the San Francisco Mayor and other politicians have violated the public trust.

Come on Billy Morris don't do this. I am sure the judge has issued all of the apologizes necessary.

We will wait for some get rich lawsuit.

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month!

TrulyWorried
16522
Points
TrulyWorried 09/06/13 - 05:20 pm
5
0
That kiss

would have fitted better into the comic section. Give us a break!!

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 09/06/13 - 05:25 pm
5
0
Sweetson, I agree with you,

Sweetson, I agree with you, but I also heard it on other media.

GiantsAllDay
10494
Points
GiantsAllDay 09/06/13 - 07:27 pm
0
4
I'm coming out of my cage And

I'm coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all

It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss
It was only a kiss

The Killers, Mr. Brightside

JRC2024
10476
Points
JRC2024 09/06/13 - 09:11 pm
5
0
She just should have told him

She just should have told him she did not like that and let it go. Big dad gum deal.
Some are just too sensitive and think all a man wants is something else.

corgimom
38455
Points
corgimom 09/07/13 - 05:15 am
1
3
She had every right to

She had every right to complain, who wants to put up with nonsense like that? Why should she?

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 09/07/13 - 05:25 am
4
0
He should have just stuck

He should have just stuck with a pat on the rump.

msgret92
121
Points
msgret92 09/07/13 - 05:34 am
0
1
Wrong State, Wrong County

He should have been in Columbia County, GA where it's OK to violate Judicial Canon.

my.voice
5173
Points
my.voice 09/07/13 - 08:59 am
1
0
Seems like a silly thing to

Seems like a silly thing to get upset over.

scooter2762
6758
Points
scooter2762 09/07/13 - 09:07 am
0
0
I've known the Hatchers for

I've known the Hatchers for years and I have a hard time imagining this to be anything other than what Don said it was. A mistake... yea. Newsworthy.... nah.

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