On Saturday, September 30, 2023, ABC4 News reported that Magistrate Ava E. Bryant of Berkeley County has been suspended for 90 days without pay following allegations of neglecting her duties. South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty signed the court order suspending Bryant, effective immediately.
The suspension comes after an investigation revealed that Bryant had failed to report for work at least 29 times in the past six months. She allegedly directed court clerks not to schedule hearings for her to preside over on certain days and then failed to show up at the office on those days. This is a violation of the Hours of Full- and Part-Time Magistrates Statewide order, which outlines the requirements for magistrates’ work hours.
Beatty stated that Bryant’s actions were a deliberate attempt to circumvent the rules and avoid working the hours she was being paid for. The suspension is intended to address the dereliction of duty and restore public trust in the court system.
All summary court judges have been advised to review the order and ensure they are in compliance. The suspension of Magistrate Bryant serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining ethical standards and upholding the integrity of the court system. It is essential that judges and magistrates dedicate themselves to their duties and serve the public with fairness and impartiality.
Source: ABC4 News