Shelby County judge to retire following ethics complaint - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Shelby County judge to retire following ethics complaint

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Kay Spalding Robilio, Circuit Judge of the 30th Judicial District at Shelby County (Source: tncourts.gov) Kay Spalding Robilio, Circuit Judge of the 30th Judicial District at Shelby County (Source: tncourts.gov)

(WMC-TV) - A veteran Shelby County judge says she has no regrets, despite an ethics complaint that played a role in her decision to retire.

Circuit Court Judge Kay Robilio will call it quits September 1. In exchange, The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct will dismiss the ethics complaint.

Elected judge division five in 1990 and reelected in 2006, Robilio said her decision to retire was not entirely based on the recent complaint.

"It's going to seem strange not to be a part of government," she said during a conversation in her East Memphis living room.

The state board accused Robilio of violating judicial rules of impartiality by, among other things, making a personal visit to family members involved in a child custody case and using personal observations in her rulings.

She maintains it protected the health, safety, and welfare of the child.

"I thought I was a hero," she said.

In a settlement signed by all parties this week, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue any complaint against Robilio. The settlement stated:

"So long as she does not become a judicial candidate nor accept any appointment to serve as a judge."

Robilio believes she would have been exonerated if taken to trial.

The judge cites a health issue and her husband's pending retirement among other reasons to leave office early.

"I plan on seeking other opportunities to serve," she said.

Robilio served as a city court judge prior to her election to circuit court. She was a city prosecutor and private attorney before that.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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