Garey Ballance, a district court judge in Warren County, faces a single misdemeanor charge of failing to file a tax return. According to the indictment, Ballance accepted $20,000 in taxpayer grant money through the John Hyman Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by his father, former Rep. Frank Ballance.
Authorities say Garey Ballance later used the money to purchase a Lincoln Navigator. The money was never reported to the Internal Revenue Service until Ballance filed an amended return in 2003.
Frank Ballance turned himself in to authorities Friday on a criminal conspiracy charge to defraud taxpayers. He is expected to reach a plea agreement. Attorneys for Garey Ballance will not say whether he will reach a plea deal.
"He's looking forward to have a conclusion of the matter. Obviously, he is very disappointed that he is here, and that this had to take place," attorney Gibert Chichester said.
Garey Ballance was released on his own recognizance. He is up for re-election in November. Under the law even if he is convicted of a misdemeanor offense, that does not prohibit him from running for office or serving as a judge in Warren County.
The State Board of Elections said Ballance is running unopposed and it is too late for a potential write-in candidate.
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