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Monday, February 16, 2009

 

Judge Returns to Bench After Being Charged With Possession of Marijuana

ROSE COOPER
County Editor
2/14/2009 1:05:00 AM 

Clinton County Juvenile Court Magistrate Roger Bowling will soon be back on the bench.

Bowling, 58, who was charged Dec. 9 with two misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, appeared Jan. 23 in Hillsboro Municipal Court where the case was transferred after Clinton County Municipal Court Judge Chad L. Carey stepped aside. Judge David McKenna, of Hillsboro Municipal Court, and Prosecutor Fred Beery, brought the case against Bowling.

A spokesperson in the Clinton County Municipal Court said the possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed with prejudice under a plea agreement. For the possession of marijuana charge, the court ordered a $158 bond forfeiture.

A Wilmington resident, Bowling was charged after Wilmington police executed a search warrant at his home for illegal narcotics. Police detectives found marijuana, marijuana seeds and stems, pipes with residue, rolling papers and burnt marijuana cigarettes, according to a media release from the Wilmington Police Department.

At the time the charges were filed, police said anonymous tips led to a three-month investigation. During the investigation, detectives “developed probable cause,” said police, prompting the issuance of the search warrant.

After he was charged, Bowling was removed from the bench and initially placed on paid administrative leave, according to Clinton County Juvenile Court Administrator David Hockaday.

Clinton County Probate Judge Allen Gano said Bowling was later placed on leave without pay.

Judge Gano said Bowling has gone through the steps required under the county’s drug policy. “The drug policy urges us to take steps to rehabilitate,” he said.

Bowling began rehabilitation “on his own initiative,” Gano said. “He was taking the steps that fit into the county policy. We followed that from the beginning. I’m pleased with the way he has dealt with it. I’m satisfied at the sincerity of his efforts. As the county policy would have us do, he will get a second chance,” the judge said.

There was never an indication in any of Bowling’s work performance there was a problem, Gano said.

Bowling is expected to return to the bench at the end of February or beginning of March. “This is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Gano said. “After a good deal of consideration and discussion with him, it was an appropriate decision. He’s done the rehabilitation and I’m satisfied he will be able to perform.”

Gano said the magistrate’s decisions are always reviewed by the judge.

Bowling has served as a Clinton County magistrate for more than 10 years.

As juvenile court magistrate, Bowling oversees a number of juvenile cases, most of them traffic offenses, said Hockaday. Bowling also handles a variety of other cases, including juvenile misdemeanor drug cases.

 

 


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