- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A Montgomery city judge has been suspended amid ethics charges.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed charges against Armstead Lester Hayes III, the presiding judge of Montgomery’s municipal court, regarding claims that include the jailing of poor people because they couldn’t pay traffic fines or fines for other misdemeanor offenses.

Al.com reports (https://bit.ly/2gnMrvY ) Hayes was automatically suspended with pay Thursday. The charges now go before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

The ethics charges raise many of the same issues in three federal court lawsuits against Montgomery, which have all been settled.

Hayes’ alleged actions have helped Montgomery’s municipal court collect millions in fees and fines - three or more times the amounts collected in Birmingham and other large Alabama cities.

Hayes was appointed a municipal judge in 2000.

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