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Johnston County magistrate charged with DWI

A Johnston County magistrate was suspended after being arrested on charges of driving while impaired early Saturday, according to the county clerk of the courts.

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — A Johnston County magistrate was suspended after being arrested on charges of driving while impaired early Saturday, according to the county clerk of the courts.

Johnston County Clerk of the Courts Will Crocker said that a state trooper arrested magistrate Eric Fogleman on charges of DWI around 1:30 a.m. Fogleman, 27, of Four Oaks, was released into the custody of the mother of his girlfriend, who was with him in the vehicle.

Chief District Judge Andy Corbett has suspended Fogleman from his position as magistrate, Crocker said. It was still being decided if the suspension will be unpaid.

Fogleman has worked as a magistrate for about five years. His first court date was set for April 27.

A 2008 investigation by WRAL News found that 46 percent of the DWI charges filed in Johnston County in 2006 were dismissed, compared with 21 percent statewide and 20 percent in neighboring Wake County.

Since October 2008, the conviction rate for DWIs in Johnston County has jumped to 85 percent.

A former Johnston County assistant district attorney, deputy court clerk and four defense attorneys recently pleaded guilty to illegally dismissing traffic cases, including DWI citations. District Attorney Susan Doyle has said that she plans to refile the dismissed DWI charges and that policies have been changed to prevent that happening again.

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Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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