Former S.C. magistrate barred from the bench

Chris Rizo Jul. 28, 2008, 3:12pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Legal Newsline) - A South Carolina judge has been banned from the bench after admitting to saying that crack cocaine addiction is a "black man's disease" in commenting on a warrant, the state Supreme Court said in an order Monday.

Former Beaufort County Magistrate George Peter Lamb, who is white, resigned from his post before today's order.

In addition to Lamb's controversial comment, the state high court in its order outlined problems the magistrate had with court employees, which the justices described as inappropriate.

As a part an Agreement of Discipline, Lamb agreed to not seek any judicial position in South Carolina without first getting approval from the state Supreme Court.

"As previously noted, this is the strongest punishment we can give respondent, given the fact that he has already resigned his duties as a magistrate," the justices' order said.

Lamb served on Beaufort County Council until 2006, when Republican Gov. Mark Sanford appointed him a magistrate in Hilton Head.

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