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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina district court judge who fixed traffic tickets for friends, their friends, or people who knew a court employee is suspended without pay for 75 days.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday against Winston-Salem-based Judge Denise Hartsfield.

The high court said Hartsfield disposed of at least 82 traffic tickets outside the legal process. The Supreme Court says it’s likely the number is much higher since Hartsfield has been a judge for nine years and made it a habit despite apparently knowing that was improper.

State Bureau of Investigation agents described one case in which a man who knew Hartsfield because she shopped at the drug store where he worked avoided paying a ticket charging him with driving nearly 30 miles an hour over the 65 mph speed limit.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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