- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida judge accused of approving false time sheets has given up her position in exchange for prosecutors dropping a criminal charge against her.

Circuit Judge Beth Harlan sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday announcing her retirement. Prosecutors then filed a court document in her criminal case saying the charge was dropped. Prosecutors had charged her with aiding or abetting grand theft, a third-degree felony.

Harlan was arrested last year following an investigation by the State Attorney’s Office. They say the 55-year-old judge approved time sheets so former judicial assistant Alisha Rupp would get paid for time she didn’t work.

Harlan’s trial was set for May. The Ledger of Lakeland (https://goo.gl/7KY5Au ) reports that the case against Rupp is still pending, with her grand theft trial scheduled to begin in April.

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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), https://www.theledger.com

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