The director of the state agency tasked with watch dogging judicial misconduct resigned this week amid scrutiny over his compensation and retirement benefits.
Ronnie Joe Lane, who retired as superior court judge last year to lead the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, was receiving full-time compensation while reporting part-time pay to avoid having to defer his state retirement benefits, local legal news service The Daily Report revealed Monday.
According to state records, Lane was billing the agency, which probes complaints of judicial misconduct, for 20 hours of work a week — which amounted to the full-time compensation package the commission’s previous director earned.
Because he reported to state pension authorities he was working only part-time, he received an additional $7,000 per month in retirement benefits, according to the report.
Lane resigned his directorship only hours after the Daily Report ran Monday.
“Ronnie Joe does not want any could whatsoever … over the commission and over him,” JQC Chairman Lester Tate told the legal news wire. “He served honorable in the military and honorably on the bench, and I think he did on the commission as well.”