A Bath County grand jury indicted Judge Beth Maze, who represents Bath, Rowan, Montgomery and Menifee counties.
Maze was already under investigation for ethics charges filed by the state Judicial Conduct Commission. She is accused of violating several judicial rules in trying to help her ex-husband after he was arrested on drug charges last year.
She was suspended with pay Oct. 2 until the investigation is complete.
Maze will be arraigned Dec. 6. She has not been arrested.
The indictment alleges Maze falsely altered public records, but does not include specific details.
The conduct commission claims that between May 22 and June 14, Maze inquired about confidential informants involved in drug trafficking cases before her, asking attorneys, staffers and law enforcement officers whether the informants were involved in drug cases involving her ex-husband.
In addition, Maze is accused of signing the names of other people on documents in her ex-husband’s case, calling the Bath County jailer and pre-trial services in an effort to get him out of jail and then improperly ordering hospital officials to perform a drug test on him.
The judicial conduct commission can impose sanctions ranging from a private reprimand to removal from office.
Maze responded to the judicial commission complaints saying she never intended to “bestow any benefit” to her ex-husband and denied wrongdoing.
Her attorney, Thomas Clay, said in an interview Thursday that they had hoped the judge could testify in front of the grand jury but the request was denied.
“I feel if she had been allowed to testify, the grand jury would not have returned an indictment,” Clay said. Maze has not been arrested.
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Kentucky circuit court judge indicted on felony charges