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Oklahoma County district judge accused of fraud to stay on paid leave

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: January 28, 2011 at 6:07 am •  Published: January 28, 2011

An Oklahoma County judge accused of fraud has decided to take an extended leave of absence from the courthouse.

District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure, 43, was charged last week 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.

Bass-LeSure took off this week at the request of Oklahoma County's presiding judge. She now has decided to stay away longer while she fights the felony charge against her, multiple sources told The Oklahoman.

The case could take as much as a year or two to come to trial, if it goes that far. The judge for now will continue to be paid. Her salary is more than $120,000 a year.

Her attorney, Richard Anderson, said Thursday the judge's decision was made out of respect for and to show dignity to her judicial office.

Bass-LeSure has spent most of her 12 years as an elected judge hearing criminal cases. She began in January to hear probate, guardianship and adoption cases.

She was the original trial judge for pharmacist Jerome Ersland who is charged with murder. She took herself off that case Aug. 31 after prosecutors complained. Prosecutors accused her then of misconduct involving a gym trainer with a pending drug case.

In the fraud case, prosecutors allege the judge and her husband secretly gave away twins placed in their care.

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