- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A former Philadelphia judge is on trial this week on charges of theft of services and conflict of interest.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (https://bit.ly/1DqC9Ls ) reports that a jury was selected Monday for the trial of 72-year-old Willis Berry Jr.

The state attorney general’s office accuses Berry of directing his judicial secretary to help handle his private business operations. Authorities said he owned and managed as many as 16 properties, including multi-unit rental properties.

Berry was suspended without pay for four months in 2009, but criminal charges weren’t filed until May 2014, almost two years after he retired.

A defense attorney said last fall that Berry would enter a guilty plea in exchange for probation, but Berry rejected the deal after learning that it could require forfeiture of his pension.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com

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