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Four Judges Paying Up


  New Orleans Traffic Court Judge Ronald Sholes says he does not plan to appeal a $2,500 fine for filing a campaign finance report 455 days late. "To avoid the bad press I will probably not appeal," Sholes wrote in an email. "I didn't know I had a delinquent report. All of these reporting requirements cause more problems than they solve. My current problem is finding the funds to pay the fine." Sholes may not be alone. Other judges are electing to pay fees for late filings rather than fight the state Ethics Board. Judge Frank Marullo, who was re-elected to Criminal District Court without opposition last October, has paid a $2,500 fine for a campaign report filed 72 days late. Marullo initially requested a waiver but paid the fine Aug. 24, according to board records. On July 22, Criminal Court Judge Lynda Van Davis paid the last of $2,600 in fines associated with separate tardy filings from successful campaigns in 2003 and 2008. Criminal Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson, who was elected without opposition last October, was initially informed by the Ethics Board that she missed a Sept. 3 deadline for paying a $1,000 fee for the tardy filing of a campaign report, but Johnson says her campaign paid the fine on time. "We sent a check to the [Ethics Board] post office box by certified mail," Johnson says, adding she has a copy of the receipt as proof. Late last week, she said the Ethics Board told her it used the tracking number to verify the date the check was mailed. — Johnson

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