Ferguson Judge Who Imposed High Fines Resigns After Scathing DOJ Report

A Ferguson, Mo. judge who allegedly imposed high fines on residents resigned Monday following the release of a scathing Department of Justice report, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Ronald J. Brockmeyer resigned the same day that the Missouri Supreme Court announced it had reassigned all Ferguson court cases to the circuit court. The Court said in a news release that the the move would “help restore public trust and confidence in the Ferguson municipal court division,” as quoted by the Post-Dispatch.

The rare move on the part of the Missouri Supreme Court follows the release of a DOJ report alleging racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department, the municipal jail and court.

Brockmeyer was named in that report, which criticized him for “creative” use of fines to generate revenue for the city even as he threw out tickets for himself and his friends, according to the Post-Dispatch.

“I don’t believe the report was correct, but it’s not worth fighting,” he told the newspaper.

He added that he was motivated to resign because he and his family had received death threats.

Brockmeyer still serves as a prosecutor in two other towns and as a municipal judge in a third, according to the Post-Dispatch. It’s unclear whether Brockmeyer will continue in those positions.

The Guardian previously reported that Brockmeyer also owed the U.S. government more than $170,000 in back taxes.

Brockmeyer told the Post-Dispatch that critics were using the matter of his tax liens to call him a hypocrite. He told the newspaper that some traffic offenders in Ferguson couldn’t pay their tickets after being given a third, fourth or even fifth chance to do so.

This post has been updated.

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