For centuries, the role of Judge has carried with it a solemn duty to uphold justice, the law, and to ascertain which facts are true, and which are not.
So when a journalist in Carmi, Illinois spotted a Second Circuit Judge charging his electric car at Wayne County Courthouse, they ran a story claiming Second Circuit Associate Judge Mark Stanley was misappropriating public funds to charge his car.
Except he wasn’t.
As the CourierPress reports, the local news article caused enough outcry to force Judge Stanley to appear in front of the entire Wayne County Board last week to explain his actions.
The charges? That he was using public funds to charge his $39,995 Volt, while residents of Wayne County were struggling with $4-a-gallon gas.
Sadly for the newspaper, and thankfully for the County Board, the explanation given by Judge Stanley was far from salacious.
Upon buying his plug-in hybrid, Judge Stanley had approached the local Sheriff to ask for approval to install an outlet to charge his car at the courthouse.
Approval was granted, and Judge Stanley then made arrangements with the County Treasurer to pay for the power he used to charge his Volt, ensuring no public funds went to refueling his car.
At 87 cents for a full charge, once a week, the agreement was made that Judge Stanley would make two payments per year to recompense the Wayne County Courthouse for the power he used.
To ensure he wasn’t accused of stealing, Judge Stanley even offered to pay double, something he replicated at every other courthouse he visits in the Second Circuit.
Once everything had been explained–and proven–Wayne County Board members were more than a little embarrassed.
“Uh, I didn’t know you had an arrangement with the sheriff,” said County Board Chairman Gary Sloan. “Oops.”
Judges, it seems, while upholders of justice, can suffer exactly the same conflicts when trying to find somewhere to charge their electric car.
This article originally appeared on Green Car Reports.