BARTOW, Florida (AP) - A Polk County judge accused of falsifying time sheets for her judicial assistant will continue to collect her salary.

Circuit Judge Beth Harlan was charged last week with scheming to defraud and grand theft.

According to an affidavit, Harlan signed off on time sheets so that her judicial assistant, Alisha Rupp, would get paid for time that she didn't work. Harlan's arrest followed an investigation that began after Rupp made public claims in July that she was fired for complaining about a "sexually toxic work environment" at the courthouse.

Chief Judge William Bruce Smith confirmed to The Ledger that Harlan will continue to receive her salary, which is about $142,000 a year, during her "voluntary suspension." Smith says Harlan's absence will put a strain on the local courts.

Read or Share this story: