NewsCovering Kentucky


Embattled judge fights to clear her name

Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 17:53:25-04

BATH COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today a judge overruled a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment involving suspended circuit court Judge Beth Maze. Last year a Bath County grand jury indicted Maze on two counts of forgery 2nd and one count of tampering with public records.

She's accused of forging drug test orders involving the 2017 arrest of her ex-husband, Champ Maze, a former Bath County attorney. Maze denies wrongdoing claiming she mistakenly believed the orders were for distribution only and not that the attorneys had seen the orders and agreed to them.

At today's hearing former Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Lambert testified on Maze's behalf citing a 1950's case that sitting judges could be impeached, not criminally charged, for actions taken in their official capacity as judge.

Thomas Clay, one of three attorneys for Maze stated, "We're asking the court to dismiss the indictment."

Special Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass assigned to the case argued, "I think what counsel for the defendant is trying to say is you're a judge, nothing can be done, you're above the law."

Judge Phillip Patton, who is presiding over the case, denied the motion and set a November 12th trial to be held in Bourbon County.

Both sides wanted a change of venue.

In a separate case, Maze is charged with six ethics violations by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission. Maze claims the JCC violated her civil right by not giving her opportunities to defend herself on the ethics charges. That case is ongoing.