Magistrate suspended over possible conflict of interest

CHESTER, S.C. — A Chester County magistrate judge has been suspended while court administrators look at an alleged conflict of interest in her hearing cases involving the sheriff’s office, which is led by her husband.

The Rock Hill Herald reports Angel Underwood was suspended last week. Since her husband, Alex Underwood, holds his position as Chester County Sheriff, Angel Underwood doesn’t routinely hear cases involving the sheriff’s office due to a conflict of interest.

Angel Underwood’s lawyer, Jake Moore, says her suspension centers on her hearing about 20 cases in which she was the only magistrate available. Underwood told the parties she had a conflict of interest, yet all parties had her preside anyway.

Underwood’s suspension came days after her four-year term expired in April. She is up for reappointment.

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Information from: The Herald, http://www.heraldonline.com