A judge accused of fraud is back at work.
Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure, 43, was going to take an extended leave of absence. She returned to the courthouse Thursday morning instead.
“I'm doing what the citizens elected me to do, and I will continue to do so. I will continue to fight to clear my name and to work hard,” she said from her desk in her chambers.
She declined to discuss her defense, saying she was prohibited by canons that control judicial
The judge is accused in the fraud case of secretly giving away twins placed in her care. She is accused of giving the children to her bailiff's sister, Ravonda Latrice Edwards, of Oklahoma City.
The judge also is accused of misusing some of the state funds paid to her for the care of the boy and girl. Prosecutors allege she spent some of the money at nail salons, spas and casinos.
She was charged Jan. 21 with 30 counts of making a fraudulent claim against the state and two counts of perjury.
Her husband, Karlos Antonio LeSure, 46, was charged with two counts of making a fraudulent claim against the state and two counts of perjury.
The judge in January began handling probate, guardianship and adoption cases. She will continue to handle probate and guardianship cases but will no longer oversee adoption cases. The judge spent the previous 12 years on criminal cases.
Probate cases involve settling a person's affairs after death. In most cases, there are no issues in dispute.
The judge took off last week at the request of Oklahoma County's presiding judge. She told others Jan. 27 she was extending her paid leave.
Only the state Court on the Judiciary can suspend or remove an elected judge from office.
Edwards, 41, faces three unrelated felony charges accusing her of violence against a former girlfriend. The latest charge, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, was filed Monday. Prosecutors allege Edwards stole the ex-girlfriend's car Oct. 6 and crashed it twice into a nearby house.
The children, now 3, are in Department of Human Services custody.