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Judge Accused of Aiding Undocumented Immigrant to Have Pay Restored

The judge was suspended in April after allegations surfaced that she helped a man from the Dominican Republic slip out a back door of Newton District Court.

A Massachusetts judge suspended for allegedly helping an immigrant escape a federal agent waiting to arrest him at a courthouse will have her pay restored, the state's highest court said Tuesday.

The Supreme Judicial Court said it had revised an April order that stripped Judge Shelley Joseph of her pay, reinstating her compensation and benefits.

The SJC, however, denied a request that Joseph be placed on administrative duties while her case plays out in court.

The previous order was made after federal prosecutors alleged that Joseph and a former court officer helped a man from the Dominican Republic slip out a back door of Newton District Court.

In June, Joseph's lawyers had argued that the suspension of pay went against the presumption of innocence.

Joseph has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice, and her lawyers say the case against her is "political."

The communications director for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying Baker was against the decision.

"Governor Baker believes Judge Joseph should not hear cases until the federal case is resolved and believes that no one should obstruct federal law enforcement officials trying to do their jobs. The Baker-Polito Administration has filed and continues to support legislation to allow court officials as well as law-enforcement to work with federal immigration officials to detain dangerous individuals," read the statement from Communications Director Lizzy Guyton.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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